Danny O’Connor, general manager of Will-Kare Paving and Contracting Ltd., meets with Susan Henderson, the Canadian Mental Health Association Colchester-East Hants branch executive director, regarding Will-Kare’s $50,000 to the branch’s building campaign. The donation will help get the branch closer to its percentage needed to secure its mortgage for the facility on Prince Street. Raissa Tetanish – Hub Now

LOWER TRURO – The building campaign for the local Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) branch just got a little bit bigger.

Will-Kare Paving and Contracting Ltd. just came on board with a $50,000 donation to the campaign, which launched late last year with a $350,000 from the Community Credit Union of Cumberland Colchester Ltd.

Danny O’Connor, general manager at Will-Kare, said mental health affects everyone at some level.

“With one of our employees, Andrew (Lake), his mom was affected by mental health so it adds that personal touch,” said O’Connor. “We probably would have made the donation anyway, but this gave us a push.”
The general manager said recent capital projects in the community – Colchester East Hants Health Care Centre, Rath Eastlink Community Centre, and Colchester East Hants Public Library Truro branch, for example – were all community-based projects.

“They affect all our employees, and we ever said if the company was in a position to help, we would do it. We’re in the position now to do it. It’s a good cause and there is no reason not to,” he said. “We’ve had a few good years in the past and this was just one of the many projects we’ve considered.”

As executive director of the Colchester-East Hants branch of the mental health association, Susan Henderson said she and others are “thrilled” with the business’s donation.

“With this donation, we’re still fundraising our 30 per cent we need to trigger our mortgage,” Henderson admitted. “We’ve been approaching people and saying whatever you could give over five years, or 10 years, that will help push that mortgage forward.”

The association has plans to move into the former Bargain Shop building on Prince Street, which Susan said has been sitting for about a year now.

“We want to get started on that and this money will help put us toward that chunk of our money for the mortgage. This will help tremendously.”

She said the new facility comes with a price tag of around $1.5 million. The new space will see more than 10,000 square feet for the CMHA and its clients, with an additional 3,100 square feet for future use. The current location on Prince Street is less than 800 square feet. Not all programs or services can be offered at the current location.

Henderson said the branch is about three-quarters of the way to their 30 per cent needed for the mortgage. When that mortgage is approved, Henderson said she’ll be “dancing up and down the street.”
“The community needs to see this project getting started,” she said.

With the roof needing some repairs, Henderson said things had to be slowed down a little bit, and she and her crew have become more patient.

“But with a recent (teen) suicide in the community, it’s all the more important to get this centre done to get people the help they need,” she said.

For information on how you can donate to the building campaign, drop into the current at 574 Prince St., or call 902-895-4211.