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Leap of Faith raises funds for Cyrus Centre

Henry Martens, 90, gets geared up to participate in the Leap of Faith on Thursday night in Abbotsford.  - Jean Konda-Witte
Henry Martens, 90, gets geared up to participate in the Leap of Faith on Thursday night in Abbotsford.
— image credit: Jean Konda-Witte

Among the people who took a "leap of faith" on Thursday night to raise funds for Cyrus Centre in Abbotsford and Chilliwack was 90-year-old Henry Martens.

Martens, who was skydiving for the first time, said he was excited about the venture.

"I always told my kids that when I'm 90 years old, I'm going to jump out of a plane," he said.

Martens said he was there to support Cyrus Centre for at-risk youth because it changes lives.

After the jump, he said hadn't been scared.

"(This is) not as scary as crawling into a bear's den."

Cyrus Centre's fifth annual Leap of Faith skydiving event on Thursday evening raised about $20,000 for its locations in Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

Participants collected pledges to tandem parachute out of a plane, with supporters waiting below at Skydive Vancouver, located at 5112 Gladwin Rd. in Abbotsford.

About two-thirds of the funds were raised by Abbotsford jumpers and go to the Abbotsford Cyrus Centre. The remainder of the funds, raised by Chilliwack jumpers, goes to the new Chilliwack Cyrus Centre, which is expected to open in September.

The two centres are financially independent of one another, but offer the same type of programs and services for youth ages 12 to 18.

These include meals, laundry and shower facilities, counselling, employment coaching, and four emergency-shelter beds at each centre.

The Abbotsford Cyrus Centre, located at 2616 Ware St., has been open since 2005.

The Chilliwack centre will be located at Wellington Avenue – in the former Family Place building – and a contractor has been hired to do some minor renovations.

For more information, visit cyruscentre.com. The Abbotsford centre can be reached at 605-859-5773. In Chilliwack, call 604-795-5773.

 

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