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Jones family donates $500K to Wellesley rec. project

Wellesley Mayor Joe Nowak; Rosslyn Bentley, executive director of the Woolwich Community Health Centre; Julie and Jeff Jones; and Chris Martin, chair of the Something for Everyone Capital Campaign, are all smiles after the announcement the Jones will provide $500,000 towards the new Wellesley Township Recreation Centre, which will be the new home of the health centre. [Submitted]

When the Wellesley Township Community Health Centre makes the move to the new rec. complex, the name above the entrance will be the Jones Family Health and Wellness Centre.

Jeff and Julie Jones of Linwood have pledged $500,000 to the construction of the new Wellesley Township Recreation Centre.

The owners of Jones Feed Mill are no strangers to supporting community projects, having been involved with the Linwood Community Centre, baseball diamonds, walking trails and memorial forest.

“When we were raising our three children, we spent a lot of time in the township’s arenas and met a lot of great people along the way,” said Jeff and Julie Jones in a release. “This new recreation centre with its expanded amenities will be a hub for the community. For us, the addition of the health centre to the build is a key component of the project. We use the current health centre, and with aging parents we feel that it is an important piece for our community wellness.”

Rosslyn Bentley, executive director of the Woolwich Community Health Centre, which offers primary care services to people in the townships, said the donation from the Jones family allows the health centre to take the next steps in providing services.

“With this new clinic attached to the recreational centre, we will be able to build our public health centre into something more,” she said. “Our services and programs will be even more visible to the public and we can create new opportunities for partnerships with regional organizations to bring more services rurally.”

The naming rights were confirmed by Wellesley council meeting Tuesday night, with Mayor Joe Nowak making note of the family’s history of contributing to community causes.

“This is an extension of all the good things that they do,” he said of the latest donation.

Chris Martin, fundraising campaign chair, welcomed the donation, noting it will cover one of the two that come with a name on the outside of the building. In March, Bill Gies’ donation of $1 million led to the project’s main facility becoming known as the Bill Gies Recreation Centre.

Overall, the Something for Everyone campaign is looking to raise $2.5 million towards the $27-million project.

Along with the major donations, the campaign is now seeing a number of community-led fundraisers. Last month, for instance, an online auction held by the Wellesley and District Lions Club raised $5,107.93 for the campaign, and on May 7 a Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Night put on by the Twin Centre Hericanes Girls Hockey Association raised $1,150.

Upcoming events in support of the capital campaign include a Classic Car Show and Craft Market on May 28 at the Wellesley Community Centre and the Wellesley Lions Summer Celebration on June 18 throughout the Village of Wellesley, which includes a rubber Duck Race, a 10 anniversary party at the Wellesley splash pad, and a Duck Dance in the evening at the current Wellesley Arena.

“Our campaign has two goals. One is to raise the $2.5 million, which we’re doing very well on, and I fully expect to meet that goal and exceed it, in fact. The second goal is to create community ownership – the fun part about these events that organizations and individuals are putting on is it accomplishes both goals,” said Martin of the community events.

“They foster ownership, the community cohesiveness and things like that. So when we finally open the doors, everyone will feel that they’ve had a part in it. That’s really, really important.”

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