© Jocelyn Turner – Amherst Daily News.
Mark Casey of CIBC Wood Gundy (from left), Jim Hannon of the Red Cross, Cpt. Kathleen Ingram and Amherst Rotary Club president Darrell Cole were on hand as the company and the Rotary club presented $2,500 to each of the two organizations that helped victims of the Victorian Arms Apartments fire.
AMHERST – Families of the recent downtown fire have begun to move on, finding new homes and putting back together their lives. The Amherst Rotary Club made donations to both the Red Cross and the Salvation Army to try and make the adjustment a little easier.
“When the fire occurred, we got several calls from fellow Rotarians, suggesting that we do something as a club,” said Darrell Cole, Rotary Club President. “We coordinated with CIBC Wood Gundy. They provided a $1,000 donation to us and we used that and money from our own disaster fund to provide money to the Salvation Army and the Red Cross to help people who were displaced by the fire.”
Cole and Mark Casey of CIBC Wood Gundy presented the cheques to both groups the Salvation Army's temporary site at the Amherst Centre Mall.
“We thought the best way (to help out) was through a monetary donation,” said Casey. “CIBC Wood Gundy decided to make a corporate donation. We were abel to coordinate that very quickly. We thought the best way to do that was through the Rotary Club and then divide it between the Salvation Army and the Red Cross. We were happy to do it.
Both organizations were pleased with the donations. Support for the families from Cumberland County and beyond has been a great help.
“The support from the community has been fantastic,” said Jim Hannon, a volunteer with the Red Cross. “Folks from the town of Amherst and surrounding communities, some as far away as Moncton and Halifax, have come forward with financial and material support as well at the merchants in the area.”
The Salvation Army has been busy helping families set up in their new homes and said the money will help them complete that task.
“We will continue to (help set up their new living spaces) for the rest of the week,” said Cpt. Kathleen Ingram with the Salvation Army. “Then, we’re going to sell off whatever is left and money donated to help with certain bills, whatever bills we can help them with like damage deposits and hydro bills, that sort of thing.”
The money donated to the Red Cross will go towards training volunteer staff in the area.