District of Sicamous councillor Bob Evans gives a thumbs up to the camera while bottling hand sanitizer at Sicamous’ After Dark Distillery on Monday, April 6, 2020. (After Dark Distillery-Facebook)

District of Sicamous councillor Bob Evans gives a thumbs up to the camera while bottling hand sanitizer at Sicamous’ After Dark Distillery on Monday, April 6, 2020. (After Dark Distillery-Facebook)

Shuswap residents, distiller respond to safety, sanitization needs at seniors care facilities

Sicamous’ After Dark Distillery shifts to making sanitizer to support community

Staff and residents of Sicamous senior housing and care facilities were grateful for the rapid response received to a public request for personal protective equipment.

On Sunday, April 5, the Eagle Valley Senior Citizens Housing Society (EVSCHS) posted to its Facebook page a public request for face masks needed by staff who care for seniors at its facilities – The Haven, The Lodge and The Manor.

The request was shared through Facebook’s COVID-19 information centre.

The following evening, on Monday, April 6, EVSCHS housing administrator Phaedra Idzan provided a follow up post, thanking everyone who reached out to the society to offer masks.

“It will make a huge difference for our staff and residents in the coming weeks,” wrote Idzan, who also thanked Sicamous firefighter Joe McCulloch for a delivery of hand-sanitizer made at Sicamous’ After Dark Distillery.

“He and his fellow firefighters put (them) together yesterday and they wanted to make sure that it got to vulnerable residents in our facilities,” commented Idzan.

On April 6, Sicamous firefighters and district councillors gathered at After Dark to assemble 300 bottles of sanitizer. In addition to supplying them to EVSCHS, bottles were also delivered to Sicamous’ medical clinic.

McCulloch referred to After Dark owners Dean and Louise Perry as “community champions” for stepping up to provide the needed sanitizer.

Other supplies came mostly from residents, said Idzan, who wasn’t surprised by the quick and generous response from the community as she said a lot of people were looking for ways to help.

“People have reached out to me to offer masks and hand sanitizer and it’s been a welcome relief since I have been unable to locate a stable steady stream of equipment,” said Idzan.

Anyone with face masks (not cloth) that can be donated to the Eagle Valley Senior Citizens Housing Society may get in touch with Idzan through the society’s Facebook page.

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Sicamous Fire Chief Brett Ogino and firefighter Joe McCulloch work on filling bottles with sanitizer at After Dark Distillery on Monday, April 6, 2020. (After Dark Distillery-Facebook)

Sicamous Fire Chief Brett Ogino and firefighter Joe McCulloch work on filling bottles with sanitizer at After Dark Distillery on Monday, April 6, 2020. (After Dark Distillery-Facebook)

Sicamous firefighters and municipal councillors maintain their physical distance while bottling sanitizer at After Dark Distillery on Monday, April 6, 2020. (After Dark Distillery-Facebook)

Sicamous firefighters and municipal councillors maintain their physical distance while bottling sanitizer at After Dark Distillery on Monday, April 6, 2020. (After Dark Distillery-Facebook)

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