GORE BAY – Along with the Angel Bus being praised for their efforts despite COVID-19 over the past year by its supporters, the Angel Bus, which provides transportation services for senior citizens on the West End of Manitoulin, has received several recent donations toward its continued operations.
The latest donation is from Lafarge. On Monday, Richard Patterson, production foreman of Lafarge (based in Meldrum Bay), on behalf of the company, presented a cheque in the amount of $4,000 to Ted Kilpatrick, member of the Angel Bus operating committee.
“Lafarge has been one of our very generous funders from the very start, along with Manitoulin Transport,” Mr. Kilpatrick told the Recorder. He pointed out Lafarge was unable to provide a donation last year, but in any other year since the Angel Bus began operations, the company has provided a donation of $4,000 or more annually.
“It’s kind of nice for our company to provide a donation that benefits people in the community,” said Mr. Patterson.
“Especially this year,” said Mr. Kilpatrick, who pointed out both the Island Animal Hospital and Manitoulin Lodge had recently provided donations of $1,000 each.
“I think they are doing a pretty good job of providing the Angel Bus service and purchasing a new-to-them bus for 2026, and they (Angel Bus operating committee) are well on their way toward raising the funds for this,” stated Dan Osborne, mayor of the Town of Gore Bay, at a recent council meeting.
“It is a well-used service in town and the area,” said Mayor Osborne. “Kudos to them for doing so well.”
This came after council had the opportunity to review a letter from the chair of the Angel Bus committee.
Central Manitoulin council passed a motion recently for the municipality to donate $1,000 to the Angel Bus committee for 2021.
Mr. Kilpatrick told the Recorder, “the number of trips the Angel Bus provided this year was down with the pandemic, and we have only been making medical trips to Sudbury for example, there has been no fun/social trips. But the Angel Bus is still going strong.”
A letter has been sent to municipal councils and other supporters of the Angel Bus in the past. The letter, signed by Sandy Cook, chair of the Angel Bus committee, reads, “it’s that time of year again when we like to update you on Angel Bus activities from 2020 and request your on-going support for 2021. As with all things, the COVID-19 pandemic created a lot of changes for the Angel Bus. Our fun/social outings stopped after March, but we completed 56 medical runs, including hearing, dental and eye exams/treatments. In total, 69 requests were fulfilled with our volunteer drivers logging 265 hours and 8,635 kilometres. None of this could be possible without your support!”
“COVID restrictions prevented us from running our normal fundraisers last year, but we do have our sights set on a ‘Fall ‘n Angels Dance’ in early October and a 2021 raffle of one of Pat Best’s handmade stunning quilts ‘Hey Lolly Lolly’…colourful, whimsical lollipops!” wrote Ms. Cook.
The Angel Bus committee has a long-range plan to buy a used, new-to-the-group Angel Bus in 2026.