Calgary Health Foundation

Enhancing quality of life for those who enhanced ours

In September 2000, the Friends of the Colonel Belcher and Calgary Health Trust set out on an ambitious fundraising campaign aimed at raising $2 million towards the required $23 million needed for the development of a new continuing care centre for Veterans and seniors - Carewest Colonel Belcher.

After many years of planning and fundraising, residents moved into the new facility in May 2003. The state-of-the-art space offers a bright, spacious and comfortable home that makes an appropriate statement about the way the community feels about Veterans and the sacrifices and contributions they made to protect our quality of life.

With the help of corporate partners, individual donors and military associations, community support helped raise $2.1 million for the new facility, exceeding the original goal by more than $100,000. Money raised through the campaign was earmarked to develop an exceptional Quality of Life Program for Veterans.

"Volunteers and donors were the catalysts that made this campaign possible," says Barry Ashton, Friends of the Colonel Belcher. "The Friends of the Colonel Belcher Society, in partnership with Calgary Health Trust, was proud to facilitate the campaign and our volunteers continue to contribute their time and efforts to fundraising for enhanced care for veterans and residents at the facility."

The campaign helped fund beautiful garden spaces, private courtyards, an atrium, an extensive library, dens and private dining rooms where Veterans can enjoy the company of family friends. In addition, Carewest Colonel Belcher offers an impressive Quality of Life Program that includes group outings, recreation therapy, music therapy, woodworking, art therapy, ceramics and horticulture therapy. 

"A simple bus outing to Cochrane for an afternoon to enjoy the scenery and an ice cream cone has immense value. The impact of an outing like this brightens many days for a long time," says Dale Forbes, Carewest Executive Director.

The Quality of Life Program remains a key component at Carewest Colonel Belcher. Thanks to the funds raised from the $2.1 million campaign, the Quality of Life Program and its components have had a positive impact on residents' lives. The program improves cognitive awareness, promotes socialization amongst residents, increases self-esteem, promotes physical activity, gives residents a feeling of purpose and above all, helps residents maintain a homelike environment and quality of living they deserve after their dedication and service to their country. As a result of funds raised through the campaign, 175 residents can live in comfort, dignity and pleasure at Carewest Colonel Belcher.

For more information about Carewest Colonel Belcher, visit the Carewest website.