South Frontenac’s newly expanded Grace Centre holds ribbon cutting

(Left to right) David Townsend (former executive director of SFCSC), Heather Rogers (Executive Director of SFCSC), Daniel Eustace (Board Chair for SFCSC), South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal, MPP John Jordan, and Duncan Sinclair (SFCSC Board Member and companion of the Order of Canada) cut the ribbon marking the official opening of the newly expanded Grace Centre in Sydenham, South Frontenac Township. Photo via SFCSC.

On Friday, May 24, 2024, Southern Frontenac Community Services (SFCSC) welcomed funders and special guests to the ribbon cutting ceremony for its newly expanded facility at the Grace Centre in Sydenham.

According to a release from SFCSC, the project was made possible thanks to $1.2 million in federal, provincial, and municipal funding. Local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, John Jordan, was in attendance to recognize a $150,000 capital grant from the provincial government’s Ontario Trillium Foundation, which was used to fund the purchase and installation of windows and doors for the Grace Centre.

“Our government’s vision for a healthy, vibrant Ontario includes a strong emphasis on local priorities,” Jordan said. “An OTF Capital grant of $150,000 will help to ensure that the Grace Centre continues to provide a safe, accessible and welcoming space that prioritizes the needs of South Frontenac’s Senior community.  Community hubs like the Grace Centre are pivotal in developing strong, resilient communities and we’re proud to be part of your commitment to enabling an inclusive, active lifestyle.”

The Grace Centre is a community hub offering older adults (aged 55+) in South Frontenac a range of programs to support an active lifestyle. The Centre is located at 4295 Stagecoach Road in Sydenham.

SFCSC said that funding to make the project a reality also included a $50,000 Feeding Possibility grant from Feed Ontario, a $250,000 contribution from the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), as well as $750,000 in funding from the Township of South Frontenac.

“Congratulations to Southern Frontenac Community Services Corporation on the official opening of the newly expanded Grace Centre in Sydenham. This space is an important community and recreations hub for seniors across the region. The Government of Canada is thrilled to support projects that help to build strong communities and give people a place to gather and stay connected,” said the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), in a statement.

According to the release, these grants, from all three levels of government, represent a significant investment in SFCSC’s mission to work with others to help seniors age well in their own community and to connect families with services to meet their basic needs. SFCSC provides many services to the community, particularly to older adults, ranging from meal programs to fitness and social clubs. SFCSC also operates the region’s food bank.

“This is an exciting day, that has been a long time in the making. So many people contributed to getting this expansion off the ground and making it a reality. From our dedicated staff and volunteers to the generosity of our donors and the support of these grant funders, each contribution has played a vital role in making this expansion a reality,” expressed Heather Rogers, SFCSC’s Executive Director.  

“This milestone represents not only a physical building, but our collective commitment to support the seniors and vulnerable families of our community right here at home, with the respect and dignity they deserve”. 

This expansion marks a moment in SFCSC’s journey to making a lasting difference in the community, according to the release. The contribution and impact of this funding and the donors cannot be underestimated, SFCSC stated.

SFCSC provides services that support seniors and vulnerable families in the rural area north of Kingston, Ontario, that enhance their quality of life. These services are based on the principle of helping seniors remain in their own homes as long as possible, and encouraging resilience for rural residents, by providing support to meet their basic needs. SFCSC partners with other local services to deliver important programs and services and often serves as a community hub to bring community members and service providers together.

Although there was a ribbon cutting ceremony to acknowledge and thank these government funders, the SFCSC expansion project is not yet fully completed and renovation work continues to get to the finish line, the organization stated. SFCSC said it looks forward to celebrating further with all of its community partners and supporters at a fall event as well as a celebration for their 35th year of providing services.

Learn more about the Grace Centre on the SFCSC website.

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