By Marcia Love

Whether it’s a trip to the health centre or getting active at the Tri Leisure Centre, the Tri-Community Health and Wellness Foundation is working behind the scenes for families in the tri-area.

The not-for-profit organization raises funds to support the WestView Health Centre in Stony Plain and also the TLC for Everyone program at the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre. The program offers Tri Leisure passes to people who have financial constraints or mental or physical disabilities causing income restraints.

Shandi Saito of the Health and Wellness Foundation said the not-for-profit’s work is integral to health care in the tri-community.

In the last several months, the organization has provided the health centre with a bariatric motorized wheelchair and stretcher, among the items that might not have been able to be purchased without the assistance of the community and foundation.

With many families facing financial challenges due to the economy, support for the TLC for Everyone program has broken down barriers to physical activity focusing on the foundation’s goal of creating a healthier tri-community.

The foundation’s signature event, the Festival of Trees kicks off the Christmas season in November. With the foundation’s focus being the Day Surgery Program and Ambulatory Clinic, the funds raised through the Festival will directly support those programs at West View.

The foundation also works with local Tim Horton’s for the Smile Cookie Campaign in September.

It hopes to expand its supports in the future.

Saito emphasized the work of the Health and Wellness Foundation assists people of all ages in the tri-community.

“It definitely supports anybody and everybody that comes through the emergency room,” she said. “Then it goes all the way up to acute care and the hospice program.”

It’s support through the TLC for Everyone program has helped children all the way up to seniors access the TLC to get fit and socialize, contributing to better mental, physical and emotional health.

Support through volunteers and funding is always welcome by the Tri-Community Health and Wellness Foundation.

“Our goal for 2017 is to help the community become aware that we are here, and we’re doing great things for the community,” Saito said.

This year’s Festival of Trees will be held Nov. 17-19 at the Heritage Pavilion in Stony Plain.

For more information on the foundation and ways to help, visit tricommunityfoundation.org.