Karen Myers, Team Lead at The Lighthouse Community Centre (LCC), a program operated by the Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge (CMHA HKPR) through funding received from the City of Peterborough, wanted to “turn on the light and help the Lighthouse shine”. So, on July 16, 2016 the Lighthouse Community Centre– located in the Parish Hall of St. John’s Anglican Church - will receive a bright new look - with a fresh coat of paint!
The LCC is a safe and supportive environment to community members who are living in poverty and food insecurity. The Centre serves up to 140 meals a day, through food donations – primarily from Kawartha Food Share, volunteers from various church groups and in collaboration with Kawartha Fest. The funding from the City enables CMHA staff to connect visitors to local resources including housing, employment and healthcare.
Myers states “As a community centre, the Lighthouse needs to be a place where people feel like they belong and can contribute their talents and services. Last year St. John’s Anglican Church installed beautiful ceramic tile in the main room and we thought it would be a great opportunity to repaint the walls a new bright colour.” Myers consulted with St. John’s secretary Carolyn Porteous who agreed to take it the idea back to their board. When Board approval was received, Myers then approached Drew Merrett of Merrett’s Home hardware with the idea of helping to paint the Lighthouse. Mr. Merrett embraced the idea and offered to supply the paint as well as his and his family’s time. Drew Merrett and Merrett’s Home Hardware has been actively engaged in volunteering at the Lighthouse since 2014. Mr. Merrett was the 2015 Recipient of the CMHA HKPR Maurice Lovnes Award for volunteerism.
To involve the visitors to the Lighthouse in the project, Myers posted paint colour choices and the visitors had an opportunity to choose their favourite. Other volunteers in the project include Jerry Van Zeyl from St. Andrews Church, who was very helpful getting the project to get off the ground. With his help, the ceiling has already been done. Other volunteers supporting the project include Price Anderson, Elaine Dobbin, Annie Price, Rodney Marois and Mary Ireland. A collage of visitor’s colourful handprints has already been created by Lighthouse staff and visitors, an addition to handmade banners already hanging on the walls.
The remainder of the painting will be completed on Saturday, July 16th. Myers approached St. Anne’s and Immaculate Conception Churches with the idea of putting on a BBQ for the day. These two churches work together to prepare a meal once per month for the LCC visitors and were presented with the CMHA HKPR Distinguished Service Award at the June 2016 CMHA HKPR Annual General Meeting. Both groups were thrilled to be involved and said they would love to support do a BBQ (at 1 p.m.). Volunteers Christian Harvey from St. John’s Anglican Church, Drew Merrett, Price Anderson and Jerry Zeyl will be on site as “painting supervisors”.
Ms. Myers would like to extend an invitation to the media to join them on July 16th to see the project as it unfolds and to celebrate CMHA HKPR’s gratitude for the efforts of the volunteers and the donation of the paint by Merrett Home Hardware. In closing, Myers states “I hope the LCC continues to shine and to always create a warm friendly environment for our visitors.”