Gotta Go Mackay
Gotta Go MacKay !
Did you know church buildings constitute some of the most underused space in Canadian cities ? That’s the finding of a study recently undertaken by one of the country’s large Protestant denominations. Conclusion ? If this underused space was opened up to community use, municipalities would not have to build new community centres and taxpayers would be spared the cost.
The Memorial Hall at 39 Dufferin Road has become a hub for community activities, ensuring continuation of NECTAR programs as NECTAR winds down and 255 MacKay Street is sold. The Hall is busy six days a week with these programs which include fitness, Tai Chi, High Horizons day out for physically challenged adults, City Kidz, art and drawing classes. And the new MacKay Brainery is up and running with various events of interest in the Hall.
MacKay United Church had previously been in a lease arrangement with NECTAR, allowing NECTAR to use the Memorial Hall for some of its programs — primarily fitness classes. When the lease ended in June last year, and NECTAR announced it would be winding down and selling its property at 255 MacKay Street, , it became apparent other space would be needed to accommodate music lessons and art programs. So MacKay United Church offered space in the Memorial Hall and in smaller rooms on our second floor — space which previously had been used solely for church functions. And judging by the usage, the wider community has embraced the Memorial Hall as a community hub.
When an older building, such as the Memorial Hall, is opened up for community use, it becomes necessary to upgrade some of the facilities to meet new standards. Last summer, MacKay’s congregation undertook the cost of upgrading one of the Memorial Hall’s washrooms to meet new accessibility and gender-inclusivity requirements. If sufficient funds can be raised from the wider community, along with contributions from the congregation, the second washroom will be upgraded during the summer months. The facility already has a wheelchair ramp and elevator to the upper floor music studios, costs of which were borne by the congregation. Public funds have never been in play. The Memorial Hall washrooms are also used by the public during the annual New Edinburgh Garage Sale, federal and provincial elections and by members of the public who attend the chamber music and jazz concerts.
Thus the “Gotta Go MacKay” fundraising campaign which begins on April 1. Perhaps you would like to donate for a specific item on the shopping list? Please indicate that on your donation. Otherwise your contribution will go towards cost of the automatic door or labor costs. Donations may be made through the “Gotta Go MacKay” Go Fund Me page
A big thank you to all who used the special envelope on Easter Sunday to contribute to the Gotta Go MacKay fundraising campaign. Our goal is to raise $12,000.00 with the campaign ending on May 31. Money will be used to renovate a washroom in the Memorial Hall to meet new standards for accessibility/gender inclusiveness. The special envelopes brought in $3,362.00 towards the goal and with the High Horizons donation of $200.00 we're a quarter of the way there. If you missed the envelope on Easter Sunday or were not in a position to contribute at that time, you can still donate via the Gotta Go MacKay GoFundMe internet page, by electronic fund transfer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through Canada Helps. Let's pull together and reach this goal !