A nonprofit organization uncovered some expensive treasures in the midst of a massive renovation. the victory foundation builds affordable housing for Calgarians.
They are transforming a Forest Lawn landmark, the Old Town and Country (T&C) Hotel on Southeast 17th Avenue into a 48-unit complex for women, children and seniors.
Foundation founder Don Delaney said that during the demolition they salvaged 21 wagon wheels that used to hang from the ceiling of the old hall.
“I loved them immediately. Everybody else wanted to get rid of them and I was like, ‘No, I like them.’ It wasn’t until we took them down that we realized how big they are,” Delaney said.
The eight-foot wagon’s wheels weigh more than 200 pounds each. But Delaney said it’s history worth saving. Relics of the notorious bar and hotel’s past are being sanded down and spruced up.
“This may be a repurposed tool from the past. That is the whole objective of this project, that people reuse their lives and, why not, reuse the wheels of cars. We want to put them around town for stampede displays,” Delaney said.
In the spirit of the stampede, they are offering them to businesses for a donation. Your team will deliver and install them anywhere. They hope to get at least $500.
“As a base donation we would like to receive $500 or $1000. To rent these wheels, it costs between $75 and $100 a day,” Delaney said.
A family-owned steel company was so moved by the initiative that it donated thousands of dollars worth of labor and materials to create supports for the massive wheels. Bill Thompson works for Sureway Metallic Systems.
“From design to prototype through fabrication, modeling, welding, fabrication and painting, we accomplished it in less than 3 weeks,” said Thompson. “It was quite a feat.”
The project will change lives. Ray Tallow has experienced it firsthand. The Victory Foundation helped him with housing. He said that he is determined to give back.
“I like to help people. When I was drinking, I was selfish and thought of nothing but drinking, but now I’m doing something good,” Tallow said.
The money raised will go towards the $11 million project, they need $4.8 million to reach their goal.
The housing complex is expected to open next year.
“We will offer a home, dining program, and 25% of the space will be for commercial use, which will offset rents to make them affordable,” Delaney said.
“Looking at rent prices, Forest Lawn has a high proportion of single mothers and seniors, so providing more housing in the community where it’s needed is essential.”
Interested donors can contact the Victory Foundation at 403-875-8050.
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