Family gives back to community

Heart River Housing received a $25,00 donation from the Charrois family on Dec. 30 for a special project to upgrade the grounds at Pleasantview Lodge in High Prairie. Left-right, are HRH board vice-chair and Town of High Prairie Mayor Brian Panasiuk, Don Charrois, granddaughter Harper Smith, 9, Carol Charrois and HRH CAO Lindsay Pratt.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A former longtime High Prairie business owner has presented a large donation to a special project at a seniors’ lodge in High Prairie.
Don and Carol Charrois donated $25,000 to Heart River Housing for a project to enhance the yard at Pleasantview Lodge.
They presented the cheque Dec. 30.
“We owned a business for more than 30 years and we’ve always given back to the community,” says Don Charrois.
“We feel this is a worthy project.”
Don and Carol Charrois owned Charrois Motor Products, a GM dealership until they sold the business in 2013.
He says the Town of High Prairie and Big Lakes County supported their business during those years and 50-70 per cent of current lodge residents have been customers.
Heart River CAO Lindsay Pratt says the donation raises the total to just under $50,000 collected since fundraising started last August.
The goal is $60,000, he says.
“Instead of a bare-bones project, we’ll be able to do something spectacular,” Pratt says.
“When the ground breaks in spring, we can get at it.”
Heart River board vice-chair and Town of High Prairie Mayor Brian Panasiuk also thanks the Charrois.
“A huge donation is fantastic,” he says.
Outdoor upgrades coincide with a major building project in progress that will add 20 units to the lodge that currently has 53 bachelor suites.
“We want to upgrade the grounds as part of our expansion project,” Pratt says.
HRH plans to upgrade and extend walking paths, add benches, rest stops and pergolas.
“Lumber used for these areas will be reclaimed wood from a tree planted in 1960 when Pleasantview first opened,” Pratt says.
“Rest areas will also including historical plaques to celebrate and honour the past of Pleasantview Lodge.”
The greenhouse will also be upgraded.
Citizens, businesses and organizations are invited to make donations in various ways.
For more information, phone the HRH office in High Prairie at (780) 523-5382 or email Pratt at

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