Bethune United set to start accessibility project
Blackfly Ball helps raise funds
Vern Fallows and Riki Doig are crowned the king and queen of Baysville at the second annual Blackfly Ball on Saturday, April 28. The fancy dress evening is a fundraiser for Bethune United Church.
LAKE OF BAYS – Bethune United Church has its building permit.
Church board secretary Marlene Robinson told the Huntsville Forester the church had all the financing and necessary paperwork ready to start building its accessibility addition at any time.
The church and its building community have been fundraising for the addition for about two years and the generosity of the community has brought the project within months of fruition.
Robinson said at the church’s second annual Blackfly Ball fundraiser on April 28 that the project is expected to take about five months to complete. The project started as a way to incorporate accessibility upgrades to the circa 1883 church.
“It started as an accessibility project but we thought, ‘Why focus on only accessibility when we can work a little harder and have a social space, too?’” said Robinson.
The addition will include a wheelchair ramp, accessible washrooms, a kitchen and meeting space.
Bruce Thomas, building committee chair, said the project was expected to cost about $275,000. But he said the church had raised $292,000.
Thomas said the church has had tremendous support from the community for the project.
Committee members said any remaining funds will pay for items such as technical equipment and kitchen appliances.
The Township of Lake of Bays has been supportive of the project as well, said Thomas.
The committee has made a point of working with area contractors wherever possible, he said.
As construction begins, committee members say they look forward to developing a way for congregation and community members to use the new space that will benefit both the church and the community.