Letter: Please donate to the Community Hall

Tuesday, November 28 2017

Our AGM took place this month and we are excited to welcome a few new members with positive energy. We need this energy, as the Community Hall has had a number of challenges this year. These challenges have left us with a cash flow problem and we are encouraging you to click www.canadahelps.org to help out.

Here is the situation. The replacement of the metal roof sections revealed some nasty and expensive work which was not anticipated and has proved costly to complete. We had hoped to use some volunteer labour to cut costs but subsequently it was decided that the height and exposure of the roof required insured professionals. Plywood needed to be replaced, the rafters needed to be extended and it was necessary to redesign and replace flashing in order to improve ventilation in the roof area. New gutters are required.

Our boiler failed and we had to go through an expensive process to detect and fix the problem. This has been accomplished. We thank our renters for being patient when the heating was not working.

The violent storm that flooded part of the Community Hall is bringing costs that go beyond what we can expect to be covered by our insurance claim. We need to cover the deductible clause and the upcoming hall closure in January will result in loss of rental income when the restoration company is putting the hall back together.  

The hall is now 34 years old and we are expecting other maintenance needs soon. The flat roof is reaching the end of its life span, electrical systems need upgrading, there is corrosion in some of the pipes and the gym floor needs refinishing. These are maintenance items. If we had the finances, we could make a modest start on some of the items Gabriolans suggested in our surveys: more storage room, seismic assessment, purchase of a generator, are just a few of the items we can consider. We have had carpets donated from the Bowen Park Seniors and we need some people and funding to get carpet bowling started at the hall. 

Funding from rental income contributed 33 per cent of our income last year and we don’t anticipate any increases in the future. For the past 100 years, the hall has attempted to keep rental rates low and allow access for all Gabriolans to enjoy it. About 34 per cent of our income last year came from fundraisers and we want to thank the community members who donated the income from their dances and concerts. Lots of work goes into these events, requiring many devoted volunteers from the community, our Board and from the groups who offer their talents.   

We will continue to seek funds from granting agencies and this is a lot of work and makes planning ahead difficult. Long-term stable funding is still our goal and we believe the support you showed last summer (from our petition), that to collect a modest annual contribution for the hall through property taxes offers the best way to fund the hall. It took GERTIE three years to realize their goal and we intend to continue with this initiative. In the meantime…

Right now the Community Hall needs your help. We hope you can support your hall and its future by going to the Community Hall on www.canadahelps.org and donating.  

Alternatively, you can mail a cheque to Box 205, Gabriola, V0R 1X0. We offer tax receipts for donations over $20 in a calendar year and there is still time left before the end of 2017.

~ Joyce Babula, President, Communtiy Hall