Jeneece Place a reality

The home-away-from-home for families of sick kids at Victoria General Hospital opened its doors Jan. 18.

Jeneece Place

Jeneece Place

Ron Hewitt cleans paint from his hand as he sits down. At Jeneece Place, even the president of the Queen Alexandra Foundation helps.

The home-away-from-home for families of sick kids at Victoria General Hospital opened its doors Jan. 18. Airy, spacious and decorated in original First Nations art, the house is only 250 metres from the hospital, but feels a world away.

“Everyone has pulled together for Jeneece Place,” said Hewitt. “The great thing about this project, it’s so community in nature, there’s been so many contributions.”

The flood of donations has allowed the house to open its doors only four years after Jeneece Edroff, a teenage fundraising dynamo battling a rare genetic disease, envisioned a Ronald McDonald House-type facility.

That vision has become a reality. The QAF has managed the project and donated $1 million, as did Telus and the Norgaard Foundation, and the Vancouver Island Health Authority donated the land at VGH.

A cross between a mansion and a country lodge, the polished, three-level, 10,500 square foot home has 10 bedrooms, each with a washroom, and a vast double kitchen and dining area.

The lower level is decked out with games, kids toys and a large television in the media room.

“The object is for Jeneece Place to feel like a house, not an institution, a place where people can come and stay,” said Hewitt.

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