They’ve done it.
The St. Mary’s Villa Foundation (SMVF) has raised enough funds to purchase a new bus for over 100 residents of the level four care home in Humboldt.
The SMVF made the announcement on July 16 that they had reached their goal.
“We are happy to announce that the bus has been ordered and should arrive just in time for the twinkle tours for our residents in early December,” stated a press release issued by SMVF.
They started their campaign to raise funds for a new bus about five years ago, noted Donna Muench of SMVF.
“We knew we needed a new bus,” she said.
The old bus is hard for residents to see out of, difficult to get into and out of, is a rough ride, and has heating and air conditioning issues.
It needed to be replaced, and the SMVF set out on a mission to see that happen.
At first, they estimated it would cost about $85,000 to replace the bus they had. However, they started looking at options, including different lifts that would make getting on and off the bus easier for both residents and staff.
“We decided to go to something better, and found we were a little short,” Muench explained.
So late last fall they started the push to raise more money for the bus with a campaign called Hop on the Bus. At first, they thought they needed another $70,000, but when the quotes came back, Muench said, they actually needed $85,000 more — over $150,000 in total.
“We got it,” she said excitedly. “The bus is ordered.”
And it didn’t take as long as they once thought it would to raise the necessary funds, thanks to two major donations from the Good Neighbour Store and Conexus that pushed them right up to the top of their goal.
“We are planning a big celebration for when the bus does come in,” Muench said.
“Everyone is excited,” she added.
Funds to buy the bus, she added, came from Humboldt and the surrounding area, from residents, businesses and even Villa staff.
But buying the bus doesn’t put an end to the Villa’s needs.
“We’re never finished. We’re always seeking donations. There’s always equipment needed, like chairs and mattresses,” Muench said.
All donations to St. Mary’s Villa Foundation are greatly appreciated and held to ensure the Foundation’s mission statement, which is to “provide support to enhance quality of life for the residents of St. Mary’s Villa.”
The bus is used to take residents to medical appointments, pick up clients who attend the Villa’s community day program, and is used to drive residents to fun outings, like hockey games, concerts, plays and drives in the country in the summer and twinkle tours of Christmas lights in the winter.