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Beacon Bus replacement gets $50,000 boost

Jul 29 2012

Recent media coverage of a Salvation Army plan to replace its aging mobile-response vehicle has generated an anonymous donation of $50,000.

That instantly puts the organization halfway to its goal of $100,000 for a new vehicle, a cost that includes retrofits and improvements.

Just like the current mobile-response unit, the well-known Beacon Bus, the replacement will supply food and other necessities at major incidents including fires and search-and-rescue operations.

The Beacon Bus, a revamped GMC school bus, includes a kitchen and other amenities.

Since 1997, it has been used to provide food and counselling to the downtown street population and others in need, as well as helping out at large forest fires in the Interior.

The Salvation Army's Carol Barton said the organization hopes to have a new vehicle ready by the end of the year. It was decided that buying something new made more economic sense than continuing to repair a vehicle past its prime.

Barton said the inspiration for the Beacon Bus was Edmonton's Care and Share Bus.

Such vehicles are operated by many other Salvation Army divisions, as well.

To donate, call Barton at 250-386-3366 (ext. 4) or email carol_barton@can.salvationarmy.org.

jwbell@timescolonist.com

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