Salem begins new project thanks to strong support

The finish has been stripped from many of the pieces that date back to 1986, thanks to the cleaning products that must be used. (SUPPLIED PHOTOS)

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All 40 rooms in Maple North at Salem Home will get new furniture after a very successful “Building for Tomorrow” fundraising banquet.

Salem Foundation made the announcement Oct. 30, and said they wanted to thank the community for once again showing so much support.

“Building for Tomorrow was a success again and so we wanted to first of all reach out to our business community and all the people that supported the event and thank them for doing so,” Foundation Chair Arlen Hildebrand said. “Without that help we would not be able to do all these projects.”

The success of the event was because of many factors.

Hildebrand said local sponsors completely covered the cost of the banquet including the food and speaker costs. The event was sold out and an anonymous donation brought the fundraising total to nearly $100,000.

Despite the weather, (it was the first day of the massive winter storm that shut down southern Manitoba), there were very few empty seats.

Mike Yankoski, author of the book “Under the Overpass” spoke at the Oct. 10 banquet held at the Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church.

The foundation board wasn’t expecting to be able to start with 40 rooms so soon. “We decided to move ahead with the generous donations we got that night and some of the other donations we’ve received that we’re going to start our project earlier than we thought it would be,” Hildebrand said.

The project will replace dressers and side tables that date back to 1986 in Maple North.

After that is completed, 105 more rooms await the same change.

Salem Home CEO Sherry Janzen said the old furniture is due for replacement.

“The cleaning products that we use have stripped the finish because of infection control,” she said. “This furniture now, withstands all the cleaning products.”

The new furniture is designed for a medical facility, while maintaining a homey look and feel.

The night stand and dresser combination costs a little over $2,000 for each room, plus tax and shipping.

The fundraising will continue for the other rooms. Donations for the furniture project will be accepted at the Spring Faspa, Fellowship & Song on April 26, 2020. That event will feature the Glorybound Quartet.

Some of the remaining rooms will also require more work. Cottonwood rooms, designed in 1972 will require other renovations such as new lifts, making bathrooms more accessible and purchasing closets which take up less room than built-in closets.

People can support the project by visiting or calling the Salem Foundation Office at Salem Home at 204-325-4316. Any donation is welcome, and donors also have the option of paying for an entire room or a specific piece of furniture.

Salem Home Ladies Auxiliary President Hilda Friesen said the project is one of the ways they try to help.

“The common goal of the Foundation and the Auxiliary to provide Salem Home residents with the best possible lived experience, is the incentive for this fundraising venture,” she said.

Janzen said it’s amazing to see the community once again come together.

“We are blessed again to be in a community that is so supportive of what the foundation does and is willing to be a participant in our journey towards making lives better for the residents,” she said.

For more information on the project and other events at Salem Home go to the “What’s Happening” section at or check out @SalemHomeFoundation on Instagram.

The new furniture is built to standards required for a medical facility, while maintaining a homey feel. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)