Greg Willmon, Rogers Foudation director, left, and Erin Beaudoin, Eden Gardens executive director, stand by as Rogers Foundation board directors Ruth Thorpe and Barrie Rogers throw a switch to light the Brighten Our Spirits fundraising challenge banner during a cheque presentation at the challenge kickoff event Thursday, Dec. 9. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Greg Willmon, Rogers Foudation director, left, and Erin Beaudoin, Eden Gardens executive director, stand by as Rogers Foundation board directors Ruth Thorpe and Barrie Rogers throw a switch to light the Brighten Our Spirits fundraising challenge banner during a cheque presentation at the challenge kickoff event Thursday, Dec. 9. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo charity campaign brightens spirits of seniors living with dementia

Eden Gardens’ Brighten Our Spirits challenge stands to benefit from donation of up to $15,000

The holiday season brightened up for Eden Gardens residents when it was presented with a donation of up to $15,000 from the Rogers Foundation to officially kick off the Brighten Our Spirits challenge this week.

The financial gift to Eden Gardens – a non-profit home in Nanaimo for 130 residents living with dementia – will enrich the residents’ lives by providing funds for art, music and horticultural therapy, noted an Eden Gardens press release.

Eden Gardens receives funding from Island Health for its basic healthcare needs, which is enhanced by donors, such as the Rogers Foundation, which support the facility’s fundraising campaigns that include the annual Brighten Our Spirits challenge. The challenge began Thursday, Dec. 9, and runs until Dec. 31, during which time the Rogers Foundation will match any incoming donations up to $15,000.

“We started the foundation seven years ago and Eden Gardens was one of the first ones we picked,” said Barrie Rogers, foundation board director and co-owner of Budget Rent a Car, following the cheque presentation and campaign kickoff.

The foundation supports about 12 different charities, Rogers said, and the money comes from profits at Budget Rent A Car.

“We’ve stuck with Eden Gardens because we believe in what they’re doing and it’s something we want to be part of right from start to finish … so we filtered it through the foundation and then out to various charities that we feel are local and do the most good,” he said.

Eden Gardens’ arts and horticulture therapy programs open up opportunities for its residents to express emotions and explore some of the pleasures they can continue to experience through their lives. The results are happier, higher-energy residents, who open up, laugh, learn, share their expressions of joy as they recall songs, happy events and people from their past, the press release noted.

The Rogers Foundation is challenging other donors in Nanaimo to support Eden Gardens enrichment programs by ensuring every dollar donated will be doubled to improve the lives of Eden Gardens residents.

To donate to the Brighten Our Spirits challenge, visit www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/10309.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com

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