Assessment Raises Money for Senior Recreation

By Adrienne Jones for

Sometimes you have to get creative to raise money for your cause, and The Olde Forge Community Resource Centre in Ottawa did just that on June 14 when they held an Antiques Appraisal Day to help fund their Recreation Program. The $10 entry fee afforded each ticket holder two appraisals. Personnel from MacLean & Associates Auctioneers and Appraisers came ready to assess items from categories such as art and antiques, militaria, books, toys, jewelry, stamps, carpets and collectibles.

The non-profit centre was established in 1964, but the building it resides in is a well-established part of Ottawa history. In 1832 the site was a blacksmith’s shop owned by English immigrant George Winthrop. The property remained in his family for 133 years and also held barns, the local post office, the Olde Forge Tearoom, a taxi service, a Texaco gas station and tourist center. The building’s current facilities hold a large meeting room and kitchen, laundry room, two wheelchair-accessible washrooms, offices for seven staff and a fully used basement.

Antiques2The Olde Forge provides an information and referral service to the community at large and a community support program to seniors and adults with physical disabilities living in Ottawa’s west end. Their Recreation Program “aims to help seniors stay active, healthy and involved at every level: physical, emotional, cultural and spiritual.” With almost 400 recreation clients, the recreation program provides classes to build strength, resistance and flexibility, as well as tours, and artistic, cultural and social events. Organizers believe their program “has proved enormously successful in helping seniors maintain a high life quality.”

Funding for the program was originally provided by a grant from The Ontario Trillium Foundation, but the grant runs out this year. Diana Fuller, President and Owner of MacLean & Associates, had the idea to host a local “Antiques Road Show” when she heard about the organization’s funding issues. “I see a lot of seniors who have no idea of what their possessions may be worth,” Fuller says. “When it comes to downsizing, the tendency is to donate or even discard items that could have a real dollar value.”

Old Forge Executive Director Anita Bloom says the “very successful event”, which raised over $1,100, was promoted through word of mouth, interviews and print media. She also notes that planning the event was “smooth and seamless. The key is to have a solid committee with specific responsibilities and a strong committee chair.”

What’s been helpful in organizing your event planning committees?