Heather Sinfield, community initiatives director with Lloydminster Sexual Assault Services, spoke to Rotarians on Monday about this Saturday’s gala to raise $450,000 for repairs to their building’s foundation. Geoff Lee Meridian Source
Nothing lasts forever, and that includes the footing of the nearly 100-year-old Lloydminster Sexual Assault Services (LSAS) building, located downtown.
LSAS is hosting a special 40th-anniversary gala at the WLS Convention Centre this Saturday to raise $450,000 to fix the crumbling foundation.
The gala theme is a Night Under the Stars and all proceeds go towards repairing the base of the 1927 community building.
The details behind the repair project were revealed by Heather Sinfield, LSAS community initiatives director during a presentation to the Rotary Club of Lloydminster on Monday.
Facility CEO Tammy Shopland was also on hand.
Sinfield says an inspection last July by Bioclean Disaster Services indicated the foundation was shot and needed to be repaired within a three-year window.
“So we are looking at a $450,000 fundraising goal which is very substantial,” said Sinfield.
“I am speaking at Rotary today to bring awareness of that need and how we need to sustain that foundation for another 100 years and keep our services going for our community and surrounding area.”
Sinfield says a new building would likely cost significantly more to move into and create the same type of safe space they have for their clients and partners.
“The soundproofing in the walls and the standards that need to be met with our partnership with the RCMP—there are just a lot of hoops and hurdles to make that happen,” she explained.
“There has been so much love and compassion put into this building already with donations from our community and surrounding area that we want to honour that space.”
LSAS won’t have to close during the repairs either to allow them to maintain their programs and services without a hitch.
Sinfield also says a lot of clients feel so comfortable coming into the space because of its history.
“It would be very challenging to try to recreate that with more than a $450,000 budget,” she told Rotary.
LSAS works primarily with survivors of sexual violence including children, adults, all ethnicities and genders and all levels of income.
“We have a wide variety of programs for specialized police in court, crisis intervention, counselling one-on-one sessions, education and awareness, and group programs,” explained Sinfield.
“I’ve been in the business for over a decade and I’ve witnessed a lot of hope and healing and resilience in children when they are supported by people who love them and have access to services,” said Sinfield.
“That’s a huge piece—is surrounding this person with love, treating them with compassion and letting them make decisions and move forward with their healing journey.”
LSAS provided sexual assault recovery services to more than 800 individuals in 2022 and half of those were under 18 years of age.
“Sexual violence is so stigmatized and lives in secrecy and shame, so the more we talk about it the better,” said Sinfield.
She says the upcoming fundraising gala for the building repair is not business as usual for them although they did mark their 35 anniversary with a little Italy gala.
“We’re more about building awareness and supporting it that way,” said Sinfield.
The word has spread, however, about the building foundation need and the gala was nearly sold out on Monday with the few remaining tickets selling at $100 a ticket or $800 a table.
The gala will include two bands for entertainment, a live auction and silent auctions, a prime rib and Greek chicken supper and lots of other treats throughout the evening.
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