Alpine Summit’s modest generator could use more power. A new campaign hopes to bring in enough to bring in a big upgrade. | S.Hayes photoScott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Chetamon Wildfire raised an important issue of power supply at Alpine Summit Lodge. That issue is fixable, but at a certain cost.

When the wildfire burned the ATCO lines and Jasper’s power went down, all the approximately 40 residents had to be moved. This past spring, the threat of power loss reemerged as the wildfires near Edson burned on.

While Alpine Summit has a generator, it isn’t nearly large enough to offer stability and security during such trying circumstances.

“We started getting a lot of calls from the families of the residents. Even though there’s a generator there… it’s a very small generator,” said Helen Kelleher-Empey, vice-chair of the Evergreens Foundation, the not-for-profit organization responsible for the management of Alpine Summit and four other seniors’ lodges and several apartment residences throughout west-central Alberta.

“The current generator is so small it just leaves on some lights in the common areas and a couple of plugs, but the seniors can’t come out of their rooms from upstairs because the elevator won’t work.”

The problem is compounded with the pressure and anxiety that comes every time the staff must move the residents.

“There’s a lot of stress on them,” Kelleher-Empey said. “They become fearful.” 

The residents and their families have requested a quote for a bigger generator. That quote came back at $160,000.

“They’re not cheap,” Kelleher-Empey said.

The foundation has just started a fundraising campaign to bring that equipment into reality. Kelleher-Empey argued this is a necessary upgrade.

“With all this climate change, these catastrophes are happening more and more.”

Specific fundraising efforts, such as silent auctions and other individual events, are being planned for the coming weeks and months.

Kelleher-Empey suggested that people pay attention to Alpine Summit Lodge’s social media at www.facebook.com/AlpineSummitLodge as details emerge.

For now, cash or cheque donations can be submitted at Alpine Summit (make cheques to Shelby McQueen-Osborne) and e-transfers can be submitted via finance@theegf.com. Include the memo note “Generator Donation” for either method. Credit card donations can also be accepted on the organization’s website at www.evergreensfoundation.com/donate

By Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Nov 21, 2023 at 10:00

This item reprinted with permission from    The Fitzhugh    Jasper, Alberta

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