The Ladysmith Resource Centre Association is turning 20 this weekend.
Its mission is to co-ordinate and provide services and information to enhance the quality of life in Ladysmith and the surrounding community, and for the past 20 years, the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association (LRCA) has been doing just that and touching the lives of thousands of people through programs ranging from the Ladysmith Food Bank to the Ladysmith Dads’ Group.
This Sunday (July 22), the LRCA is hosting a 20th-anniversary party from 1-4 p.m. at Spirit Square at 630 Second Ave. There will be a barbecue, children’s activities, door prizes and tours of the LRCA facility.
The LRCA was borne out of inter-agency meetings attended by community members who worked to assist families who were in need, explained executive director Dennis Lait, who has been there since the very beginning.
“Some of us felt there was more that could be done,” he said.
They found a place to rent under the dentist’s office on High Street. Volunteers helped build offices down there in 1992, and they got a phone line in place.
“We started with one volunteer to man the phones,” recalled Lait. “The concept was to be able to supply information to people.”
A second volunteer soon joined the LRCA, and she actually just retired from the organization at the end of May.
The LRCA remained under the dentist’s office for a couple of years until the demand for the association’s services caused the LRCA to outgrow that space.
The LRCA moved to the building that is now Telford’s. Around 1996, the LRCA moved to First Avenue into the building that now houses the new Ladysmith Museum.
“We brought with us the programming that was in the old building and started to grow what we were offering,” said Lait.
In about 2000, the LRCA started looking at the need for a permanent location.
The LRCA partnered with the Boys and Girls Club, the Town of Ladysmith and the Seniors’ Centre Society, and they moved into the new Community Services Centre on High Street in 2011.
“From the LRCA’s point of view, we are still committed and our prime focus is on providing programming and services, and with these new facilities, we hope that we can continue to provide services and expand on what we provide in the community,” said Lait. “We hope to be here for many, many years to continue to provide service and address the needs of the community as it grows. We have a tremendous group of volunteers with us, and they are the backbone of what we do.”