Firefighters come to project’s rescue

Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation gala will raise funds for project at Monterey middle school

There is a perception of firefighters known the world over as the people a community can depend on in a time of need.

That perception is certainly no different in Oak Bay. But it’s not just rushing into burning buildings and rescuing kittens from a tree where firefighters are making a difference in the community. The Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation has staged a gala dinner to raise funds for needed projects in the community. The inaugural gala in June 2013 raised $30,000 to purchase a new bus for Oak Bay High.

This year’s gala will go towards work on a project to replace play equipment destroyed by a falling branch at Monterey middle school. But this will be no ordinary playground. The school’s parent advisory committee has got behind the idea of establishing an outdoor classroom at the school, a project that is likely to take several years to become a reality. But it’s a project that’s certainly worth waiting for.

Monterey is a designated Wild School through a partnership with WildBC that allows for environmental and outdoor programming. The school’s overarching goal is connecting kids with outdoors, such as through its current ocean sciences course.

The prospects for the outdoor classroom got a huge boost when the Oak Bay Fire Department threw its support behind the project.

The Monterey PAC is hoping this partnership will help them achieve their goal of raising $50,000 for the project they hope to get off the ground in the coming school year.

“We’re hoping it’s not seen as only a Monterey project, but as an Oak Bay project,” said PAC chair Doug Tolson.

“The more the community gets behind it, beyond the Monterey parents, the more we’ll create something that will be of use to the community.”

One way for the community to get behind it is through the firefighters gala dinner May 29 at Victoria Golf Club. You can get more information or purchase tickets online at oakbayfirefighters.com.