Be­yond the Hori­zon

Hori­zon Achieve­ment Cen­tre un­veils next step in fundrais­ing ef­forts

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY CHRIS­TIAN ROACH

Em­ploy­ees, clients and vol­un­teers alike helped launch a new fundrais­ing cam­paign for Hori­zon Achieve­ment Cen­tre at a news con­fer­ence, Tues­day.

Dana Far­rell, 45, from Syd­ney has been with the cen­tre for al­most 21 years. She works in the bak­ery and mail­room of the gen­eral con­tracts depart­ment. She said it was a great sight to see over 100 peo­ple show up to the con­fer­ence to show their sup­port for the de­vel­op­ment of a new build­ing.

“I was feel­ing pretty fan­tas­tic. This is a huge day for us all. It re­ally was one good day. What a huge day for the staff and the clients,” she said.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion is the big­gest vo­ca­tional train­ing and em­ploy­ment ser­vice cen­tre for adults with men­tal dis­abil­i­ties, or those fac­ing mul­ti­ple bar­ri­ers to em­ploy­ment, within the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

An­other client of the cen­tre, 26-year-old Caitlin Cox from Syd­ney, works in the bak­ery and mail­room of the gen­eral con­tracts depart­ment as well. She said the best part of the day was wit­ness­ing the crowd, both in per­son and watch­ing on­line.

“It was so awe­some see­ing everybody and how many peo­ple were watch­ing on­line. It was phe­nom­e­nal. It went over 200 peo­ple watch­ing live today. With hav­ing my fam­ily here and my friends – I have no words,” said Cox.

In the mean­time, the Cana­dian Armed Forces agreed to re­store the church’s de­cay­ing roof through Ex­er­cise Ni­hilo Sap­per 2017, how­ever, Samp­son said the dio­cese’s de­lays put this in jeop­ardy, as the so­ci­ety needed proof of own­er­ship.

Samp­son said in Aug. 2017 the dio­cese pro­duced a pur­chase and sale agree­ment but it didn’t in­clude the land ini­tially agreed upon at the time of the sale.

Last week, Samp­son said she had no choice but to sign it as the mil­i­tary were wait­ing to be­gin the roof project.

“I signed it with re­gret,” she said.

“We’re hop­ing the dio­cese is go­ing to do the right thing and give us ex­actly what we agreed to. They said they would re­visit it.”

Samp­son said they were also el­i­gi­ble to have the mil­i­tary up­date the elec­tric­ity and heat­ing, but be­cause the so­ci­ety didn’t have a deed and weren’t the prop­erty own­ers, they weren’t el­i­gi­ble for grants.

“We are so up­set, we could have had so much work done by the mil­i­tary, but be­cause of the dio­cese have lost this op­por­tu­nity.”

Samp­son said the so­ci­ety is ex­tremely grate­ful to the mil­i­tary. “This is one of Canada’s top 10 en­dan­gered build­ings and it’s so won­der­ful the Cana­dian mil­i­tary has come forth to help save the stone church.”

Rev. Don­ald MacGil­livray , spokesper­son with the Dio­cese of Antigo­nish, said the Stone Church Restora­tion So­ci­ety signed the pur­chase agree­ment and be­cause of that the Cana­dian Armed Forces is able to make re­pairs to the church. When the so­ci­ety will have the deed, he couldn’t say.

“They can deal with that with the peo­ple who are deal­ing with the sale of the build­ing.”

When asked about the de­lays, MacGil­livray said maybe any de­lays weren’t just on the side of the dio­cese. When a sale is be­ing com­pleted there’s some­times un­ex­pected things that need to be worked out, he added.

When ask­ing MacGil­livray about the so­ci­ety feel­ing the pur­chase agree­ment wasn’t what was orig­i­nally agreed upon at the time of the sale, he said it must have been sat­is­fac­tory as they signed it. In mat­ters such as this, you try to work out what is ben­e­fi­cial to both par­ties, he added.

MacGil­livray said if the so­ci­ety has con­cerns they should bring them to the dio­cese.

“Other than that we’re not go­ing to be ne­go­ti­at­ing the sale of this build­ing in the press.”

MacGil­livray de­clined hear­ing the other is­sues the so­ci­ety has.

“It would be best for them to talk to the peo­ple who have been ne­go­ti­at­ing the sale of the build­ing a very long time. If they’re not in­ter­ested in a deal any­more they’re wel­come to with­draw.”

CHRIS­TIAN ROACH/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Caitlin Cox, left, and Dana Far­rell stand in the bak­ery of the Hori­zon Achieve­ment Cen­tre. The two are long­time clients and work­ers at the cen­tre.

Pen­der­gas

SHARON MONT­GOMERY-DUPE/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Me­lanie Samp­son, pres­i­dent of the Stone Church Restora­tion So­ci­ety, chats with Sap­per Zach San­ders of the 4 En­gi­neer Sup­port Reg­i­ment of the Cana­dian Armed Forces, while kit bags of the sol­diers are laid out on the ground.

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