Over 50 Years of Memories and Milestones The Porcupine Hills Lodge
Claresholm, Alberta (1966-)
Established under the Willow Creek Foundation of Fort Macleod, separated in 1981, and filed their Order In Council enabling the Board of Management to requisition the towns of Stavely and Claresholm as well as the central portion of the Municipal District of Willow Creek.
Situated on ten acres of land that the M.D. purchased from Adolph Amundsen with financial help from the Arnett Estate and Government of Alberta.
The cost of the project was $300,000 and $50,000 worth of furnishings. Opened in June 1966.
First renovations were started in 1993; 16 rooms added, the existing rooms were renovated and bathrooms were added. This project had a cost of 1.2 million.
2001, $600,000 was spent on 8 Cottages. January 2002 approximately 121.24 square meters of new building area was added to the South side of the lodge for additional recreation, which is known as the Java Room today and a library; donated generously from Bill Simpson and Government of Alberta.
June 2009 was the addition of 16 more self contained units costing 2.9 million.
The first Matron (Chief Administrative Officer) was Marie Collette in 1966, until her retirement in 1976. Second matron was Lois Symonds, who was a staff member since 1968 and served until retirement in 1994. Judy Lewis from (1994-2007). Michelle Day (2007 – 2010). Arlette Heck (2011- 2013). Interim Chief Administrative Officer was Denise Larabie (2-13-2014). Current Chief Administrative Officer is Lisa Anderson (2014 – present). Sheryl Comstock has been with the lodge for over thirty years; Pam Heyland has been employed for almost 30 years. All of our staff members are excellent, and our volunteers superb!
The current Board of Directors: Chairman, Earl Hemmaway (elected councillor of M.D. of Willow Creek), Lyal O’Neill (Town of Claresholm appointment), Janice Binmore (elected councillor of Town of Stavely). Current appointed members of the Board are: Audrey Hoffman, Judy vanAmerongen, and Pam Crone.
The Porcupine Go-Getters Club (Resident Council) was initiated in 1989 by Judy Paulsen, the first Recreation Coordinator. The members include every resident. This resident council is still very active today. They have raised thousands for special items that are purchased for the lodge, and for community programs.
In 2000 a new program was developed called “Aging in Place”. The program was developed by the lodge and Headwaters Health Authority (formerly Calgary Health Region) and was based on the belief that seniors should be able to “age in place” to a greater extent than what was possible at the time. It is at no extra cost to the residents. These services include a medication assistant program, access to a century tub, and regular visits to their homes by a registered nurse or homecare aides.
Happy Anniversary PHL!