The current German Club building in Regina has been standing for about 50 years, but it was in need of upgrades to its heating equipment.
With a heavy bill looming, one company, Reliance Home Comfort, has stepped forward with an act of good will to donate and install new heaters free of charge.
Kerri Van Loosen is the president of the German Canadian Society and manager of the club. The current clubhouse was built back in 1968 by members of some German immigrant families. What started as place for Germans to come together and share their culture has turned into a place for Regina residents to hold a wide-variety of events including wedding events and cabarets.
But over the years, investment wasn’t being made in the infrastructure of the building and the current furnaces, first put in when the building was erected, started giving them grief two years ago.
“We’ve repaired as many parts of it as we can but it’s just getting to the point where we’re not going to be able to sink any more money into it, it needs to be replaced,” Van Loosen said.
“We would’ve probably just patch-worked our way through this winter because we have bookings galore for the Christmas season … If they would’ve died before we could even start our banquets, I don’t imagine how long we could’ve stayed open in the -30 C weather, to accommodate the bookings, if we didn’t have a furnace,” Van Loosen said.
While the plan was to try and raise their own money through all their events, the bill was looking like it was going to be over $70,000.
The group at Reliance Home Comfort took it upon itself to help give the German Club exactly what they needed.
“We understand that it’s a historical building and means a lot to the community, we have had a very successful year and were looking to give back, it seemed like a good opportunity for us to step in,” Shae Whalen, general manager of Reliance Home Comfort, said.
Whalen said the furnaces the club was using were “Grossly over-sized” and “Hadn’t received the maintenance needed.”
Van Loosen said a few Reliance employees just showed up at the doors of the German Club on Oct. 19, out of the blue and asked to speak to a manager there.
After looking over the heating units, Van Loosen said she received a call from them later that day to indicate Reliance would be donating the furnaces and installing them for free.
“I think my jaw hit the ground, I was in tears, everyone around me was like ‘What is going on’ as I’m on the phone with them,” Van Loosen said. “I felt like I had won the lottery, I had to pinch myself.”
She said the club membership was ecstatic over the news, with a countless number of toasts taking place during their Oktoberfest event to thank Reliance for the donation.
The new furnaces are going to be installed on Wednesday.