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Lilac Terrace residents cool off with new air-conditioners

A generous donation allowed for the purchase of dozens of new air-conditioners in response to the heatwave

Residents at Sparwood’s Lilac Terrace can weather this summer heat more readily going forward, after a generous donation from the Sparwood Futures Society allowed for the purchase of dozens of portable air-conditioning units.

With temperatures in the mid to high-30s last week, Lilac Terrace administrator Michelle Matal set about looking for ways to keep residents at the fully-occupied 42-unit seniors supported living complex more comfortable, as many units weren’t equipped with air-conditioning.

“With the heatwave, residents were really suffering,” she said. Many visited family to get away from the heat, while others resorted to wet towels, fans and wide-open windows.

The Sparwood Futures Society came through with a donation of $20,937.59 to allow for the purchase of dozens of units - many of which have already been delivered.

Matal said that the Sparwood Futures Society were immediate in their support. “That same day they came and gave us a cheque.

“I was so relieved,” she said.

“It’s like this weight is lifted off my shoulders. I am used to the heat, but I am not 80 years old. I have peace of mind now.”

Matal thanked the Sparwood Futures Society on behalf of the residents for being there in their time of need. The BC Housing Society also donated money for another two units, and Matal said Teck had been ready to help as well.

“When we got the funding they were all so very happy, and now we’ve started to install them … the relief is overwhelming.”

Matal said that it had been heartbreaking to see residents have to endure the temperatures of last week, and it was heartening to know that summer at Lilac Terrace would be more comfortable.

While BC health authorities are reporting a spike in deaths around British Columbia due to the heat wave, all residents at Lilac Terrace are doing OK. “I thank God for that,” said Matal.

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