Many Hands Project reveals special renovation at Heartland Forest

The Event Management program’s Many Hands Project revealed a newly renovated space at Heartland Forest on April 6.

Students transformed Sydney’s room, a space intended to provide clients with a quiet space to relax which had been used as a storage room. The room is dedicated to owner Dan Bouwman’s granddaughter Sydney who passed away in 2009 at the age of 12 from Lissencephaly – a rare brain formation disorder.

Over the past few months, the Many Hands Project committee planned, designed and renovated the room. Students put paintbrushes in hand and completely transformed the clutter-filled room into a tranquil and relaxing space by adding a splash of calming colour to the walls, created a feature chalkboard wall, added comfortable lounging chairs, a new television and DVD player.

The students gave the first look of the space to Sydney’s mother, Jacqueline Burciul, who was also joined by daughters Taylor and Avery. Owner Dan Bouwman; executive director, Elisabeth Graham; Natalie Kind and Nancy Cameron from Canadian Tire Bank; event management program coordinator, Christine Blane; and faculty member April Tyrell were also in attendance as the Many Hands Project committee revealed the room. After seeing the room for the first time in its new capacity, Bouwan shared the story of how the idea of Sydney’s Room came to be; a touching moment for all in attendance.

In addition to the room renovation, the College’s Renovation Technician students and faculty members built a number of cabinets and installed them in the organizations offices. This provided Heartland Forest with extra storage space to ensure Sydney’s Room would remain as it was intended to be.

Students also presented Champion of Hope and lead sponsor of the 19th annual Many Hands Project, Canadian Tire Bank, with a plaque that will hang at the entrance of the room. Without the organizations generous contributions this project would not have been possible.

Heartland Forest is a unique natural attraction located in Niagara Falls. It is a registered charitable organization with a passion for all ages and abilities. The property includes easy access trails, gardens, carvings, turtle, frog and fish ponds, picnic and interpretative areas. Heartland Forest offers year-round access and is seen as a leading example of accessibility, an active lifestyle and environmental stewardship.

The Many Hands Project is a student-driven renovation program executed by the College’s Event Management and Construction Renovation Technician students. Each year, one local non-profit organization is chosen by the Many Hands Committee to undergo significant renovations that will benefit the entire community. Together, students plan and execute the entire process including: the four fundraising events, completing the desired renovations, involving the community through volunteer recruitment and raising awareness for the non-profit organization. The Many Hands Project is proudly in its 19th year of supporting communities within the Niagara Region.