Chair of LCYC "blown away" by donation

By Geoff Lee

January 31, 2017 12:00 AM

TIMELY DONATION Lloydminster Community Youth Centre reps, Craig Torry, program manager, left, beside Les Hanson, board chair, were on hand at Excel Insurance on Jan. 26 to accept a $25,000 cheque donation to the LCYC from Alyshia Kachuk, claims supervisor for Wawanesa Mutual Insurance and Excel Insurance partner, Daryl Swanson on the right. Excel is a broker for Wawanesa. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

The Lloydminster Community Youth Centre is celebrating a well-timed cheque donation of $25,000 from Wawanesa Mutual Insurance.
Les Hanson, board chair of LCYC,  was caught off guard by the amount of the donation from Wawanesa presented at Excel Insurance, a broker for Wawanesa.
“The donation actually blew me away—we didn’t know what we were expecting today,” said Hanson, at Excel’s office on Jan. 26.
Hanson and LCYC program manager, Craig Torry accepted the cheque from Wawanesa claims supervisor, Alyshia Kachuk and Daryl Swanson, Excel partner.
“The donation is great because it just helps us to know it’s one more year we can keep the doors open,” said Hanson.
LCYC will hold a soft opening of its new location Feb. 1.
The LCYC is moving into the old Lloydminster RCMP building on 47 Avenue with shared space as a division of the Lloydminster Interval Home Society.
LCYC will be holding a week of grand opening celebrations Feb. 13 to 18 with a public grand opening on Valentine’s Day from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The opening can’t come soon enough for Torry who has been running youth programs at the back entrance of St. John’s Anglican Church for the past few years.
“We’ve kind of outgrown that facility and now we are really excited to move into the new location and see what opportunities happen there,” said Torry.
He said their goal is to serve more youth in the community from 12 to 18 of age.
“This facility is just going to open up new doors and it’s going to be a legacy for the future,” said Torry.
“We’re happy about where we’re at and we can’t wait to see it unveiled.”
Torry thanks its partner, the City of the Lloydminster, that owned the building, for selling it the LCYC in 2014 for $1 with renovations nearly complete.
“The new centre is 99 per cent complete—we’ve got boot racks and a few minor things like that going in,” said Hanson.
“The kids are going to get a trial run next week and it should fun from here.”
The funding from Wawanesa will go toward programming and operational costs.
Hanson said the amount of the cheque presented made it feel like Christmas again.
“So we can’t thank Wawanesa enough for stepping up and for Daryl and all the people at Excel Insurance who are responsible for bringing the two parties together so it’s been amazing,” he said.
Excel’s Swanson explained it all came about when Wawanesa approached Excel and was looking to make a donation in Lloydminster and asked him if he could make that happen.
He said he reached out to Hanson whom he knew from Border City Rotary Club and learned LCYC would be in need of fund to startup operations at their new location.
“So this was really great timing and we are just really happy to be able to facilitate that,” said Swanson.
The youth centre is touted as a drop-in facility with opportunities for kids to access hot meals, outreach support, mentorship opportunities and just to connect to the community.
“The youth centre prides itself on being a safe and fun place for kids to access—we average anywhere from 600 youth visits per month,” said Torry.
The centre is open for kids from all demographics Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday evenings.
“It’s a diversity that brings everyone closer together and we have a welcoming environment,” said Torry.
“With this donation and the community being so supportive, I think we will be able to serve more kids and be able to be accessible to all kids.”

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