Staff at the IDC day care, from left, Meridith Barwick, Rhiley Money, Maxwell Pfeifle pose with some of the children (L to R: Maxwell Remington, Marcus Lawrence, Finn Pfeifle, Wuinn Johnson, Wyatt Beintema) who now enjoy a cool, fun atmosphere in the Centre’s play room. (Tim Collins/News Staff)

Donation cools kids

Local business gives generous gift

No one enjoys sweltering in the summer heat, but for a pair of preschool clients of the T.E.A.M. (Teen Education and Motherhood) Child Care at the I.L.C. Campus on Mt Newton X Rd., the heat had the potential to be particularly hazardous to their health.

That’s why the generous donation of a heat pump/air conditioner by Bill Phillips and his team at Island Temperature Controls was so important for the children and staff at the facility.

“My son has a kidney condition that makes it difficult for him to stay hydrated,” explained Jeremy Lawrence.

“He has a g-tube that directly puts liquids into his system,as does another child at the day care who also has the same sort of problem. But when it gets hot like it has been, there is a real danger of these two to get dehydrated, which can be very dangerous. And the play room at the day care was very, very hot.”

In response to this situation, the Child Care administrator at T.E.A.M., Meredith Barwick. started approaching larger retail chains in an attempt to gather donations to purchase an air conditioning unit for the play area.

Her efforts met with no success and it wasn’t until she met a member of Phillips’ team at a the Panorama Recreation Centre. He listened to her problem and suggested that she approach Island Temperature Controls.

“We’re a local company and we always try to do our best to support our community. A lot of our employees live in this community and a couple of us, including myself, went to school in the building that ILC now occupies,” said Island Temperature Controls service manager, Shane Fenwick .

“Our company always tries to give back to the community and this job was something that really we could really relate to.”

The day care at the ILC provides care for some 36 children,ranging in age from infant (8 months) to four years of age.

Some of those are the children of students at the school who are attending the alternative learning center trying to complete their education in grades 9 to 12.

Our students are young people who have found the traditional education system to be less than a good fit for them. Our modified programming allows students a great deal of flexibility,” explained Barwick.

“Some of our students have children of their own and the day care plays an important role in making it possible for them to finish their education.”

But not all of the day care clients are the children of students at ILC.

“We have a mixture of community children and only a portion of them are the children of students,” said Barwick.

“I can tell you that all of them appreciate the air conditioning…that’s certain,” she added with a chuckle.

And for Lawrence and his son Marcus, the newly installed air conditioning unit represents far more than simply comfort.

“It’s so great that this local company recognized the problem that my son and his friend were facing and responded with so much generosity. This is a non-profit day care and there was no way they could have afforded this work. But, without it, my son was in very real danger of dehydration which, in turn, can lead to a whole lot of other problems.”

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