The Beatty House Society recently received a real treat after thousands of dollars was privately fundraised and donated to the house.
Janet McKay, who works in the house the days opposite its summer student Natasha Bartsch, decided to take it upon herself to raise the $7,005.
“I felt that I wanted to do something that really contributed to the Beatty House,” said Mckay. Her fundraiser was to have the exterior of the house painted.
Along with her daughter, McKay constructed and sold approximately 150 silk floral arrangements.
With her second daughter she constructed and raffled seven different sized quilts. “That was my big fundraiser,” said McKay.
A third daughter hosted a bottle collection on behalf of her mother. “And I would just take it down to the bottle depot here,” said McKay.
McKay also took donations as part of her fundraising efforts. “I had one little girl about three years old give me a donation for two cents. And my highest donation, from Mike, was $500.”
McKay was first introduced to the house and the society while she was working as Pas Ka Poo Park more than 20 years ago.
At the time her husband Gerry also worked at the park. It was at the couples’ farewell party, held at the Beatty House, that McKay fell in love.
“I really love this place. It’s a feeling,” said McKay.
“And the society does so much for the Beatty House. All the different staff here are just so excellent to work with,” she added.
McKay’s husband was also a huge supporter of her fundraising efforts by managing her transportation.
“I’m going to do more, definitely,” said McKay.
The Beatty House Society has expressed how thrilled and grateful it is to have McKay working so hard above the call of duty for the house.
While giving tours of the house McKay loves to point out to guests some of her favorite features, starting at the edge of the yard with its stone fencing.
McKay also encourages visitors to ring the working doorbell.
“And I also point out the petrified wood on the fireplace and the working fireplace,” said McKay.
“The fireplace to me is a really big thing,” she added.
Some of her other favorite elements of the house include the vintage light fixtures, the kitchen nook and a small window that allows visitors to peer into the internal structure of the walls.
“In the restoration they saved a lot of layers wallpaper so people could see it,” said McKay.
A provincially sanctioned historic treasure, the Beatty House is open from May to September.