It’s official, SOS is open in Qualicum Beach.
On April 15 the sun was shining and the mood celebratory as about 50 residents gathered outside Qualicum Commons to mark the official grand opening of SOS at the former school.
SOS has been offering services to children and families at the former Qualicum Beach Elementary School since February of this year. The non-profit organization has now secured a team of volunteers to help staff at the site, and SOS Executive Director Renate Sutherland has moved her office to the new location. All SOS programs will continue to run in Parksville as normal.
In her welcoming speech, Sutherland acknowledged the other tenants at Qualicum Commons, as well as the SOS volunteers who have already started helping out at the new location.
Board Chair Eve Flynn spoke on behalf of the school district, and said it was exciting to see the repurposed building filled with activities for all ages, including the excited children beside her who played with their toys as she spoke.
Councillor Neil Horner spoke on behalf of Qualicum Beach Town Council, relaying that nobody wanted to see the elementary school closed, but the new community hub is a positive thing for all residents.
SOS Board Chair Cory McIntosh revealed the programs that are currently running at the SOS Child, Youth and Family Centre, and how they are already meeting the social needs of Qualicum Beach citizens.
After the brief speeches, the speakers cut the ribbon, which was held by 3-year-old triplets who attended the SOS Preschoolers on Move program earlier that day.
People then headed inside the SOS Child, Youth and Family Centre for snacks and refreshments provided by Quality Foods, and a tour of the facilities. To learn more about SOS programs in both Qualicum Beach and Parksville visit the website www.sosd69.com or call 250-248-2093. To call the SOS Child, Youth and Family Centre in Qualicum Beach call 250-752-2040.