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Didsbury council will consider Bethany's funding request

Proposed pathway and gazebo project for continuing care residents in Didsbury as well as community members
MVT stock Bethany Didsbury
Bethany Didsbury File photo/MVP Staff

DIDSBURY - Council will consider an $8,000 funding request from Bethany Care Foundation Didsbury for a proposed pathway and gazebo project at the local seniors facility.

Bethany’s Heidi Lambie, senior development officer, and Mary Ann Clearwater, site administrator, appeared before council as a delegation, outlining the project.

In a letter to council, Bethany officials said: “The pathway would be beneficial to our residents, families of Bethany Care Facility as well as the community members of Didsbury. The benefits of activity and exercise is well documented.

“In seniors, it is especially beneficial; improve strength and balance to prevent fall, can increase energy levels, can delay disease progression such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis, can improve mood and fight depression and may improve cognitive function.

“The pathway would allow residents and families a place to sped time outside the facility but with security knowing that they are not too far from home.”

The Town of Didsbury has already given a letter of support for the pathway and gazebo project.

“Town council applauds and fully endorses this integrative and creative initiative,” mayor Rhonda Hunter said in the letter of support. “The pathway and gazebo will welcome and invite use by the Didsbury community and will provide the only green space developed in the southeast part of our town.”

During the May 9 delegation appearance, Lambie and Clearwater spoke about the project.

“This project is something I think is an amazing project for our residents,” said Clearwater. “It is an opportunity for the families to come and say to their loved ones 'lets go for a walk.'"

Lambie said, the Didsbury facility is the only one of the eight Bethany sites that does not have a courtyard or pathway “for residents to enjoy.”

“Our residents are in the part of their lives where they cannot get up and go and be part of the community. They are at the stage where we need to bring the community to them, and that’s what this pathway is about,” she said.

The pathway and gazebo project has a budget expense of $95,343, council heard.

Fundraising for the project has been underway since August 2022, she said. 

So far, $11,000 has been raised, with various grant applications having been made and pending response.

“We come to the town council to ask for financial support and seeing if you are able to consider investing $8,000 into this project, which is roughly eight per cent of the project,” said Lambie. “I hope that you consider investing not only into our residents but into the community.”

Mayor Hunter called the project “a wonderful addition to Bethany.”

“We appreciate all you do at Bethany,” she said. “We will follow up on your request and we will get back to you as soon as we can.”

Council carried a motion referring the $8,000 funding request to the committee of the whole for consideration. A second motion accepted the delegation presentation as information.

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