What the flock?

Published By: Diane Strandberg
Published: October 05, 2010 2:21 PM 

A new species of bird has been sighted in the Tri-Cities but ornithologists who’ve been scratching their heads over the flocking of large numbers of multi-coloured flamingos need scratch no more.

The colourful creatures have not blown in on the current of some tropical wind but were placed on prominent Tri-City properties to launch a fundraising campaign for New View Society and raise awareness about Mental Health Week Oct. 3 to 9.

Campaign manager Joan Isaacs said the “flocking” is a fun way to get people thinking about the agency, which provides supports and housing for people with mental illness.

She hopes people will then make a donation to help get a community wellness centre built at a 10-unit housing facility under construction at 2050 Mary Hill Rd. in Port Coquitlam. BC Housing and the federal government are providing $2.2 million for the project.

Isaacs said the response to the “flocking” has been great as people throw their support behind the New View project.

“People are really enthusiastic,” said Isaacs, who said it takes almost two hours to set up the flamingos at the various locations. “I’m sure this will be an annual thing.”

New View needs about $300,000 to reduce the mortgage and finish a commercial kitchen, complete the basement, buy appliances and furnish the suites. The commercial kitchen is expected to be the heart of the building because it will provide 30 meals a day and provide job experience opportunities for New View members in a new catering business enterprise.

“The kitchen would be used for job training, to [help New View members] really gain those necessary skills to get experience that can open doors for future employees,” Isaacs said.

Among the 20 sites where “flocking” will take place this week are Canadian Tire in Port Coquitlam, PoCo Inn and Suites, Coquitlam fire halls, Dr. Charles Best secondary school, PoCo city hall and the offices of local politicians. Coquitlam Centre will also host a “flocking” Thursday and Friday (Oct. 7 and 8), where New View will sell bags of BlenzCares coffee beans for $16.99 each and get half the proceeds.

New View has served the Tri-Cities for more than 37 years by providing housing, recreational activities and job training. It has offices in various locations since a clubhouse building was knocked down to make way for the 10-bed-housing facility but the services will be repatriated when the new building is complete.

  • Cheques can be mailed to #205-2248 Elgin St., Port Coquitlam, B.C., V3C 2B2; call 604-941-3222 or visit www.newviewsociety.org.

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com