Good things come to those who wait, Vicki Haberl, President of the Rotary Club of Squamish reminds us. The Rotary Club had originally planned to make a $10,000 contribution to the Foundry Sea to Sky but due to Covid 19 delays, the amount increased and they were able to contribute $30,000 instead.
Lyn Tyler, Director of Revenue Development for Sea to Sky Community Services shared, “The Rotary Club was one of the earliest supporters of the Foundry Sea to Sky before Foundry was even a thing”, she laughed, “Vicki and the members gave us hope and the support we needed when we needed it the most” graciously adding, “thank you very much to the Rotary”.
The Rotary Club of Squamish has given $30,000 to the Youth Hub at Foundry Sea to Sky. The money will be used for items such as couches, computers and a pool table for use in the Youth Hub and Group Room.
Foundry Sea to Sky will provide free, non-judgmental, confidential, integrated health and wellness services to youth 12-24 years in the Sea to Sky Corridor. The new centre will offer primary care, mental health care, substance use intervention, peer support, and social services under one roof. It will also house the new Youth Hub which will provide a variety of social and recreational activities for youth in our community.
Recreational activities can be a powerful contributor to healthy youth development. In fact, research shows that youth who participate in recreation are more likely to stay in school and avoid risky behaviours1. We know that all young people need safe spaces for their personal growth and exploration.
The Youth Hub at Foundry will provide a safe space for youth to hang out. They can be together, dry and warm, while enjoying snacks and drinks. Thanks to the Rotary Club, young people will be able to enjoy plenty of recreational time.
On a rainy Thursday in June, Rotary Members arrived at the newly built location beneath the Spirit Creek Apartments on Buckley Ave for a tour of the new facilities. The Port Hardy Foundry team also showed up to get a glimpse of what their new location might look like.
Local youth had a big hand in choosing the features, colours and especially the technology and games, the pool table being their #1 choice! The tour outlined areas of the Youth Hub, a bright and airy space with use of natural tones and wood throughout the design. Modern features like a smart board in the group room that allows interactive collaboration from smart phones, white boards, a TV and lots of puzzles and games. Its modern interior has a much more relaxed feel than your typical youth center and encourages interaction between participants.
Vicki Haberl, Rotary Club President explained, “It was the senior hospices where the Rotary put their initial focus, and after taking a holistic approach felt it necessary to bring the focus on children and youth.” Vicki feels being a part of the Foundry is “pretty awesome” and was thrilled to be able to contribute to the youth in our community.
A member’s spouse and SSCS supporter, Karen Vanzella shared her thoughts on the Foundry, “The focus on the youth age group 18 – 24 is what I am most excited about,” she said, “they’re often a forgotten group (in terms of services) and are at their most vulnerable time trying to make it on their own, find stable housing, support, food, and a warm dry space. Maybe they could even talk to someone.”
The Youth Hub at Foundry seemed to bring out Rotary Club member Michael Kanka’s nostalgic side for when asked what his thoughts were on the project, he exclaimed, “I wish we had something like this when we were kids. We used to go to the basement of the church to hang out, that’s where all the action happened” he laughed. But on a more serious note, he shared, “Growing up in Germany in much different times, there wasn’t any prevention planning like there is today, it’s overdue in Squamish and it’s exciting to bring awareness to the kids, to help open their eyes and provide support and opportunities before something happens… to prevent risk.”
Foundry Sea to Sky and the Youth Hub will open in Fall 2022. If you wish to support the project, please visit, Ways to Help.
1V., Guruprasad & Banumathe, Kr & Sinu, Sinu. (2012). Leisure and Its Impact on Well Being in School Children. International Journal of Scientific Research. 1. 10.15373/22778179/OCT2012/41.