ALC to receive $25K kitchen upgrade

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Chatham-Kent-Essex MP Dave Van Kesteren, left, tours the kitchen of the Active Lifestyle Centre after announcing a $25,000 Canada 150 Fund grant Friday. With him is kitchen worker Freddie Polak, 90, an Auschwitz survivor, executive director Linda Lucas, and board chair Dave Hewstone.
Chatham-Kent-Essex MP Dave Van Kesteren, left, tours the kitchen of the Active Lifestyle Centre after announcing a $25,000 Canada 150 Fund grant Friday. With him is kitchen worker Freddie Polak, 90, an Auschwitz survivor, executive director Linda Lucas, and board chair Dave Hewstone.

No more lighting the old stove for the kitchen staff at the Active Lifestyle Centre (ALC) in Chatham, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Canada 150 Fund.

Chatham-Kent-Essex Federal MP Dave Van Kesteren was on hand Friday to announce the funding at a summer birthday celebration at the ALC, and the large crowd responded with plenty of clapping and smiles, especially from the kitchen volunteers and centre maintenance staff.

Van Kesteren said the ALC application sent in by executive director Linda Lucas met the funding criteria and was approved. The MP said other projects have also been approved in the riding, including the Chatham Granite Club, the Merlin Legion and the Chatham Legion, for a total, including upcoming Leamington projects, of $430,000 in the riding.

According to ALC board chair Dave Hewstone, the building committee has had a kitchen upgrade on their wish list for two years and the announcement was very welcome.

“The kitchen has been an issue for quite some time. It’s an old stove and we have a problem with the walk-in freezer; it dies every six months and so does the food in it,” Hewstone said. “The kitchen is used seven days a week for lunch for seniors and various parties.”

Lucas said the announcement was “very exciting for kitchen staff and will make our maintenance man happy. Every day he lights the stove.”

The funds are expected to flow to the ALC by April of 2016 and Lucas said the building committee will be ready to go with hopes to have the project finished by the end of 2016.

The ALC has 1,400 members with three full-time staff, five part-time staff and a base of about 200 volunteers.

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