Canuck Place in Abbotsford nears fundraising goal

Children's hospice has $1 million to go in its $13 million capital campaign to build the facility on Marshall Road.

Visiting the Abbotsford site of Canuck Place Children's Hospice on Marshall Road this week were (from left) John Newell and Gord Huston

Visiting the Abbotsford site of Canuck Place Children's Hospice on Marshall Road this week were (from left) John Newell and Gord Huston

Canuck Place Children’s Hospice in Abbotsford is about $1 million away from reaching the $13 million goal for its capital campaign.

Director of development Laurie Shopland said staff have been thrilled with the “overwhelming support” of the community in raising the funds to build the facility, located on Marshall Road adjacent to Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

Shopland said she is excited about working with the community to raise ongoing costs to run the hospice, which is due to be completed in fall 2013.

About 73 per cent of operating costs for the Vancouver site, which opened in 1995, are fundraised, she added.

Canuck Place in Abbotsford was initially slated to open near the end of this year, but some changes in the construction plans – to allow the addition of an underground parking area – pushed back that date.

The parking area is now under construction in the first phase of building, and is a welcome addition to the site.

“That has allowed the whole campus to have a real world-class look and feel to it,” Shopland said.

Canuck Place is one of three projects comprising the Dave Lede Campus of Care. It offers programs and services – including end-of-life care – for children 19 years old and under with progressive, life-threatening illnesses.

The 30,000-square-foot Abbotsford facility will include 10 beds and five family suites. Operations will be phased in over three to five years, beginning with a consultation team, outpatient clinic and support groups.

Then, three or four beds will open 24 hours a day, working up to the full  capacity of 10 beds as funding is secured.

Upcoming fundraisers include the Hospice Hustle, a 5 km walk/run taking place Saturday, June 9 at Mill Lake in Abbotsford. Registration is at 9 a.m., and the race begins at 10. Visit hospicehustle.ca or canuckplace.org for more details.

More information is also available in a special Canuck Place flyer that was inserted into Black Press newspapers across B.C. this week.

Canuck Place will be the first of the three Campus of Care partners to open. Also included are Dave Holmberg House, an adult hospice operated by the Abbotsford Hospice Society, and Matthew’s House, a respite facility for children with severe disabilities.