Major challenge issued to members
URBAINVILLE, PEI – Dec. 18, 2012 – The delivery of a nice $10,000 donation from Evangeline-Central Credit Union means that Evangeline Funeral Co-op has almost reached the one-third mark in its major fundraising campaign.
Last spring, members of the co-op approved a $160,000 expansion to their funeral home in Urbainville, explains president Ernest Gallant. The project includes the construction of a new wake room, the transformation of the current wake room into a waiting room, the addition of two offices, the replacement of all windows and the addition of several cosmetic touches.
So far, the co-op has succeeded in raising $50,000. In addition to the amount received from the local credit union, a few commemorative donations were given, but most of the rest came from members who simply invested supplementary amounts into their share accounts.
“We are extremely pleased that a considerable number of our members have well responded to our invitation, investing amounts of $100, $200, $300 or more in their accounts,” said the president. “However, that being said, we have to admit that the money is not coming in quite as fast as we would have liked it to.”
The board of directors understands that this construction project may not be considered by everyone to be as urgent as have been other projects, such as the local rink a couple of years ago.
But at the same time, suggests the board, one only has to think of the wakes of well-known people or of those who come from large families to remember the congestion of traffic that happens in the lobby as people wait in long lineups to get into the wake room. Sometimes, these lineups have been known to extend outside and into the parking lot. The proposed 1,380-square-foot expansion would pretty much double the home’s waiting line capacity, making the situation much more comfortable for all concerned.
“We would set up chairs in the new waiting room so people could rest a bit while they wait to get into the waiting room. The lobby would then serve as a secondary waiting room and would be much less congested than it sometimes is now,” explains the president.
“We are therefore launching a challenge to all our members who haven’t yet answered our invitation and who are financially in a position to do so to make arrangements, as soon as possible, to increase their investment into their shares,” says Gallant. “We would really like to raise the $110,000 left over the next two or three months so that we can start our expansion and renovation project as soon as the snow is melted in the spring of 2013.”
He reminds members that their investments are not donations since they retain ownership of the money. Any contributed amounts are simply added into their share accounts. Then, when they pass away, any amounts in the shares will help cover their funeral expenses.
Members can invest the amount they want either in a lump sum or in payments laid out over several weeks, months or years. The investment forms are available at the home in Urbainville during office hours Friday afternoons and evenings and at Evangeline-Central Credit Union in Wellington during its regular business hours.
Gallant says the co-op is currently negotiating with other institutions for substantial donations but he really feels that members should be the main investors in this project.
“We know we still have quite a way to go before we reach our goal but we’re confident that people from the community will answer the call, which we consider to be extremely important,” he concluded.
CUTLINE: Alfred Arsenault, second from right, general manager of Evangeline-Central Credit Union, presents a $10,000 donation to Evangeline Funeral Co-op to assist with its expansion project. Accepting the contribution are, from left, president Ernest Gallant, fundraising committee member Freda Perry and manager Adrien Arsenault.
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