2017-11-29

At $17,000, Abriel fundraiser past half-way mark

by Gayle Wilson

  • <p>FILE PHOTO</p><p>The late Dr. David Abriel, a palliative care physician who lived in Mahone Bay, pictured in 2016 when he spoke to LighthouseNOW about the federal government&#8217;s assisted-dying legislation.</p>

The Mahone Bay Centre's fundraising committee has surpassed the half-way mark in its goal to bring in $25,000 to renovate what is popularly known as the seniors' room in the centre and name it in honour of Heather and David Abriel.

Approximately $17,000 has been received since the campaign's launch at an afternoon potluck event at the centre on October 14, according to John Merchant, who is on the committee.

"That garnered $5,000 right on the spot," Merchant said of the potluck.

David Abriel, 63, and Heather Abriel, 64, died on February 2 after their vehicle collided with a truck on Highway 103 near Ingramport.

David was a palliative care physician who worked in Lunenburg, Bridgewater and Liverpool, while Heather was a teacher.

Merchant says they are being honoured by the Mahone Bay Centre, "because they were such important members of our community. Well loved, well respected and very much involved in all aspects of community life."

The Abriels played Father and Mother Christmas in Mahone Bay's Father Christmas Festival.

Merchant said a table would be set up in the Mahone Bay Centre both weekends of this year's festival where people can drop off their donations. The festival continues through December 2nd and 3rd.

As well, donation cards are being distributed throughout the town which donors can use to obtain a tax receipt for their contributions.

While renovations won't start until the target has been met, a computer-generated design of the renovation has been completed and was displayed at the campaign launch in October.

Merchant said it's always been felt that the term "seniors' room" to describe the lower floor room was "a misnomer."

While there are "definitely"popular seniors' activities that take place there, "there's a whole range of other things that take place there as well. Even involving children. So it's really an all-ages, multi-purpose function room.

"And that will continue and hopefully be enhanced. We expect that the modifications to the room and the enhancements and the improvements will simply make it that much more popular a space for people who want to use it," said Merchant.

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