Several community groups were recognized at the Ponoka Rising Sun Clubhouse AGM Oct. 18. These groups came together to donate a new commercial stove to the clubhouse. Pictured are (l-r) Amanda Hamilton, Kinettes; Bernie Steinman, Rotary Club Ponoka; Irene Baliant, Ponoka Lions Club; Linda Steinman, Rotary Club Ponoka; Bette Anderson, who funded the installation and castors; Greg Braat, Kinsmen; Eliza Groeneveld, Kinettes president and Darren York, Kinsmen president. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Ponoka Rising Sun Clubhouse looking to the future

With minimum wage increase the club is looking at efficiencies in its blue box recycling program.

Support for members of the Ponoka Rising Sun Clubhouse continues to be strong.

That was a key message at the clubhouse’s AGM Oct. 18 with a large crowd there to celebrate the accomplishments of the year. After decades of service to its members, Ponoka’s clubhouse continues to bring a variety of programming.

While there are exciting milestones as well as growth at the clubhouse, the minimum wage increase is one area Amanda Henderson-Kada, executive director for the clubhouse, needs to take into consideration.

“Moving forward I want the work program to be self-sustaining,” she said.

For many years now the clubhouse has operated its blue box recylce program, which not only recycles items but also provides member colleagues with a job.

On Oct. 1, 2016 minimum wage increased to $12.20 per hour and this October it jumped to $13.60 per hour. Next year on Oct. 1 it jumps to $15 per hour.

The clubhouse’s financials show the 2017 work program wages and benefits jumped to $70,800, up from $55,300 in 2016. Henderson-Kada expects next year’s program wages and benefits to jump by a similar amount.

Her main goal this year will be looking at how to ensure the program can be self-sustaining. For 2017, the work program revenue sat at $63,700. Henderson-Kada hopes by evaluating the program, she’ll be able to find areas of efficiency.

She pointed to a new focus this year; working with Ponoka businesses to handle their recycling needs.

Along with working with businesses, the clubhouse will see some extra revenue offset the expenses. Henderson-Kada said the clubhouse, which collects recyclables from the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury, will split the money from that program to 50/50 rather than 65/35. This was changed in September.

Despite these challenges, the clubhouse also has much to celebrate. Along with strong support from Alberta Health Services, the clubhouse received a new stove from Ponoka’s service clubs.

The Kinsmen, Kinettes, Rotary Club of Ponoka, and Lions Club bought the commercial-grade stove at the clubhouse and Ponoka resident Bette Anderson paid for the installation and castors. The Kinettes also provided financial support for maintenance of the work trailer.

The AGM was also a chance to recognize staff and member-colleagues for their hard work during the year. This year, Roy Hahn was awarded the Work Crew Member of the Year Award for his dedication on the job.

There are two open board positions at the clubhouse. For more information contact Henderson-Kada at 403-783-5810.

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