VANCOUVER, Sept. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - After an incredibly successful and exciting ground breaking ceremony this past Wednesday, September 17, the BC Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund are looking forward to November when construction will begin in earnest. The Centre will be built at 3891 Main Street, directly on the corner of West 23rd and Main Street, Vancouver, B.C.
Local dignitaries joined in with fire fighters for the on-site ceremony which included an Honour Guard comprised of fire fighters from locals around the province; Surrey Fire Fighters' Pipes & Drums Band and the Vancouver Fire & Rescue Service Trumpet Band. Hundreds of guests were present to take part in this historical forward leap for the Burn Fund and the burn and trauma survivors of our province.
Michael Hurley, President of the Burn Fund, summed it up appropriately as he stated, "I have never been more proud of the fire fighters of our province than I am today. You have certainly shown firsthand what perseverance, integrity and honour can accomplish."
"The Burn Fund is also very grateful to the Provincial Government; the City of Vancouver; the Jack and & Darlene Poole Foundation; Concert Properties; our community partners & sponsors; and all the individual donors who have contributed their time and money to assist in making the Burn Fund Centre a reality."
An incredibly generous gift of $2.5 million from the Jack & Darlene Poole Foundation was presented at the event and will go towards both the building's construction and creating an endowment fund.
The province's critical shortfall in accommodation for burn and trauma patients and their family caregivers means that patients' health may be compromised when they have to return home sooner than medically advised, or live in accommodations not suited to recovery from a burn or trauma injury.
"Together the Ministry of Health and BC Housing have provided $4 million dollars to support the development of the Burn Fund Centre – an investment in the health and recovery of British Columbians," said Vancouver False Creek MLA Sam Sullivan, on behalf of Health Minister Terry Lake. "Having the Centre accessible to burn and trauma patients from throughout the province, and at no cost to them or their families, shows the support necessary to empower survivors in their recovery journey."
The tri-level Burn Fund Centre will be comprised of eight short-term-stay, free of charge, furnished accommodation suites with communal great room; library; outdoor spaces & family kitchen all located on the middle floor. Central offices for the BC Professional Fire Fighters Association and Burn Fund will be incorporated on the top level, while the ground level will offer 3100 sq. ft. of retail space (a social venture to sustain the building's operations).
Although over 90% of the funds needed are already secured, there is still another $1 million dollars required for the project.
How can you help? Make a donation today. We are grateful for every donation received and you can help lift us a few more steps up the ladder to create the best place for burn and trauma survivors.
Donations accepted on our website burnfund.org or contact our office 604-436-5617.
The BC Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund has been providing Prevention and Survivor Support programs, and funding medical care and training for the people of British Columbia and the Yukon for almost four decades. The Burn Fund's vision is built by more than 3,800 professional fire fighters from 53 communities in British Columbia and the Yukon who dedicate their funds, time and expertise.
Image with caption: "BC Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund Board Members and special guests broke ground on the new Burn Fund Centre site on Wednesday, September 17th. (CNW Group/British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140923_C1645_PHOTO_EN_5926.jpg
SOURCE: British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund
For further information: Lisa Lacamell, Burn Fund, Executive Director, 604-436-5617; Mike Hurley, Burn Fund, President, 604-436-5617