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Sidney residents raise $60,000 for new sunrooms at Rest Haven Lodge

The two nearly 40-year-old sunrooms were no longer keeping out cold or recent dangerous heat

The people of Sidney might tell you that enjoying the seaside sun is a right for all – and they’ve proven as much for their eldest residents.

The community has raised nearly $60,000 for the ongoing reconstruction of Rest Haven Lodge’s two sunrooms. Their fundraising goal of $189,000 will go towards the project’s final price tag of $350,000, the remainder of which is being provided by the long-term care network Broadmead Care Society.

READ ALSO: Sidney’s Rest Haven Lodge to merge with Broadmead Care

Donors were aided, in part, by one Sidney resident’s contribution of $40,000 in a donation matching campaign, said Mandy Parker, Broadmead Care vice-president of philanthropy and communications. “It inspired members of the peninsula to contribute, which has been great,” she said.

READ ALSO: LETTER: Grateful for dad’s care at Resthaven Lodge

While construction of the two Rest Haven Lodge sunrooms has already commenced and is expected to be complete by September, Parker said Broadmead will be accepting donations towards their final goal until December.

The two sunrooms – one larger solarium on the ground floor and a more intimate room on the third floor – were modern looks when constructed in 1982, Parker said. “They had a specialized (temperature-regulating) tinted glass … but as time had gone on, the glass itself started to break down,” she said.

The windows have become less efficient at keeping the cold out during winter or heat out in the summer. The latter became especially apparent to Rest Haven Lodge residents during June’s heatwave.

“They’re just not doing the job that they were doing way back in 1982,” Parker said. Instead of replacing the curved glass panels, it was determined more feasible to demolish the existing sunrooms and rebuild them with an extended roofline, new thermal window panes and an outdoor awning on the first floor. “They’re also repainting the whole building with a fresh look,” Parker said.

Both solariums are used daily by the residents of Rest Haven Lodge. The larger first-floor space often hosts wheelchair bowling or yoga, while the tighter third-floor space is good for dinners and conversations, Parker said. “It’s just great to be able to create these beautiful, comfortable spaces that residents can use and enjoy.”

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