Brooke Johnson, left, Cadence Manson, Luke Robinson and Wendy Beaton pose with a van donated by Harris Mazda to Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Donated van will benefit Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre youths

Harris Mazda donates van to centre

Youths at Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre can continue going on field trips and doing community work thanks to a vehicle donation from a Nanaimo car dealership.

A specially adorned white Dodge caravan was donated by Harris Mazda to the centre and according to Wendy Beaton, a NAC Tsawalk Learning Centre teacher, it is much needed.

“I think the big reason why the van is helpful for us is that a lot of our students are living across the city,” said Beaton. “We don’t have a catchment where they only live near the learning centre … so our students often travel from all over and we also are really connected in communities, so a lot of the times our youth are volunteering at different places or needing to get to appointments and different things, so our youth are out and about quite a bit and this way, staff can support them in all the work that they’re doing out in the community as well.”

RELATED: Moustaches in style as community makes effort for Movember

The donation came about as a result of a partnership between Harris Mazda and the Garrett Paquette Fund for Families, according to Sarah Pachkowsky, who helped organize the 2018 Paquette fund Movember event and NAC project director.

“The Garrett Paquette Fund for Families always sits down around the table and looks for local initiatives every year around the time of November in regards to the fundraiser and this year, I was able to bring forward the fact that Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre, their lease was ending on their … van and they were looking to be able to raise the funds to be able to keep the van or get another van to be able to move the youth around,” said Pachkowsky.

Pachkowsky said they reached out to Tony Harris, Harris Mazda managing partner, and they came together to provide the van. The Garrett Paquette Fund for Families provided $10,000, she said.

Harris said he was pleased to offer assistance and first heard about the need last fall.

“We started having the discussions, understanding the need and that they were requiring a replacement to their current vehicle, so we worked with the [Paquette fund] and found a way to make this happen,” Harris said. “We added the decals as per their design requirements and sourced a van that was suitable and the right colour and everything they were looking for.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Fact-check pipe dream

We deserve more transparency now that Trans Mountain is in public hands, says letter writer

Eight displaced after fire last night in Nanaimo’s south end

Nanaimo Fire Rescue responds to fires on Strickland Street and old Jolly Miner pub

‘A really kind person:’ Parksville’s Nick Major remembered by instructor

Outpouring of support in the days following death of young man after infection from rabies

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Housing and opioid crises the real threats

Letter writer shocked that someone could blame vulnerable citizens for Nanaimo’s tarnished image

Nanaimo baseball stadium lighting project costs increasing by $350,000

Finance committee recommends LED lights at Serauxmen Stadium

Sailpast on Wheels Parade recognizes driving forces of Nanaimo bathtub race

Margaret Johnson and Bill McGuire honoured at 2019 event

World’s fastest bathtub racer to be determined this weekend in Nanaimo

Great International World Championship Bathtub Race caps full weekend of downtown events

Nanaimo-Opoly will let board game players deal Harbour City properties

Victoria’s Outset Media and Walmart Canada partner on local edition of popular game

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Most Read