Child Development Centre executive director Nancy Gale

Child Development Centre executive director Nancy Gale

CDC celebrates and expands

A celebration took place at the Child Development Centre (CDC) in Williams Lake on Saturday Sept. 28.

A celebration took place at the Child Development Centre (CDC) in Williams Lake on Saturday Sept. 28, highlighting 40 years serving children and families in the Cariboo Chilcotin, the launch of a new book about the CDC and the announcement of a large expansion that includes an autism centre at the rear of the property.

Current CDC board president Jerry Tickner welcomed the crowd and said a huge thank you was due to board member Elaine Watt who compiled and wrote the book, Child Development Centre: 40 Years Working with the Community.

He said that the book has been in the works for a year.

“I’m sure Elaine had no idea what she was getting into when she volunteered to do the book,” he said. “She’s gone to a lot of work finding people and finding facts and finding information and then putting it all together,” he explained.

Watt said what she learned first and foremost during her research is that the CDC has served the children and families of Williams Lake for 40 years.

“They started with a preschool, a physical and occupational therapist and evolved as the needs of children and families changed over the years. But the most interesting thing of all was that the only reason this place exists is because of the people of this town. Building the facility and maintaining the programs were accomplished by countless fundraising efforts by individuals, businesses and groups in the community,” she said. “Over the years there have been many innovative ways of raising money to support the programs offered here.”

She introduced CDC founder Aileen Hewett, adding that Hewett worked tirelessly over the years to build, guide and create what CDC has today, as well as what they’re becoming as they move toward the future.

“She would be the very first to tell you that she did not do it alone,” she noted, adding that over the past 40 years CDC has had 10 board presidents, 120 board members and eight executive directors.

“We started with three staff members 40 years ago and we now have 40 employees. We started by serving six children and our latest report shows 979 services delivered to 594 children this last year,” she explained.

“We’ve come a long, long way. It is absolutely impossible to count the number of volunteers who have helped in countless ways; thousands have helped with fundraising and hundreds have worked with building and grounds projects over the years and hundreds more have helped with many community projects. Volunteers are our mainstay for things like our swim and horse programs, camping, fishing and preschool and more.”

CDC executive director Nancy Gale explained that new construction at the centre, the result of a successful grant proposal, includes three new offices and three new treatment stations, as well as a free-standing, wheelchair-accessible autism centre.

The new centre will be set up like a house, with a teaching kitchen, one-on-one meeting areas, and a communal living area media room with access to the Pacific Autism Centre.

Ron Malmas, CDC board member, said that launching the book is exciting.

“The relationship with the community is integral, and it’s the whole region not just Williams Lake,” he noted. “There are no borders when it comes to helping kids.”

Watt said that the most important thing she learned while compiling the book is that the CDC serves Williams Lake and Williams Lake serves the CDC. “Together we have made a big difference in the lives of children,” she said. “But we’re not done yet: we’re still investing in kids.”

The book is available at the CDC office at 690 Second Avenue; for more information about services available through the Child Development Centre, phone 250-392-4481.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Avalanche Canada has issued a special avalanche warning for the Cariboo Mountains effective through the weekend. (Wes Gregg photo)
The city of Williams Lake has received provincial funding for a proposed boardwalk connecting the RC Cotton Trail to the River Valley Recreational Trail. (City of Williams Lake rough visualization of the proposal)
$550,000 provincial funding announced for Williams Lake boardwalk trail

The boardwalk will connect the new RC Cotton Trail to the river valley

100 Mile RCMP Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen. (Patrick Davies photo, 100 Mile Free Press).
100 Mile RCMP investigate theft at airport hangar, 88 other incidents

Incident is one of 89 calls attended by police from Feb. 17 to 23.

Williams Lake city council is interested in acquiring the former Poplar Glade School property on Eleventh Avenue. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake city council sets sights on two former school properties

School District said there is a five-step process for property disposal

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Bryan Adams with his mom, Jane Adams Clark, at Lions Gate Hospital. (Bryan Adams)
Bryan Adams gives shout out to North Shore hospital

The singer’s mom was in Lions Gate Hospital for care

Shoppers will be able to get their hands on signed bottles of Ryan Reynolds’ new gin at B.C. liquor stores this summer. (Twitter/Ryan Reynolds)
Ryan Reynold’s Aviation Gin autographed and coming to B.C. stores

This summer 100 bottles will be available to the public for purchase across five B.C. liquor stores

An official investigation will be launched after VPD officers were recorded posing near a dead body at Third Beach on Wednesday morning, Feb. 24. (Screen grab/Zachary Ratcliff)
VIDEO: Vancouver officers under review for allegedly laughing, taking pictures next to dead body

Two officers were caught on video by a local beachgoer Wednesday morning in Stanley Park

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
‘Stay local’: Dr. Henry shoots down spring break travel for British Columbians

B.C. is reportedly working with other provincial governments to determine March break policies

“Our biggest challenge has been the amount of vaccine,” said FNHA acting chief medical officer Dr. Shannon McDonald. (First Nations Health Authority Facebook photo)
All First Nations on reserve to be vaccinated by end of March: First Nations Health Authority

Vaccinations continuing for B.C. First Nations amid shortages

(Delta Police Department photo)
B.C. youth calls 911 after accruing $7K in online gaming charges

‘Police spoke with the student about appropriate times to call 911’

Most Read