Richmond parent launches GoFundMe to help raise seismic upgrade funds

A Catholic school in Richmond is raising money for seismic upgrades.

St. Paul School, located on St. Albans Road, hosts an annual Walkathon — the school’s main fundraising event held at the start of each school year — for students, teachers and parents to help raise funds for the school. Students and parents collect pledges leading up to the event.  

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While those funds typically go towards sporting or other equipment, according to Maureen Moorehead, the school’s principal, this year the money will go towards making the school seismically safe.

One school parent, Joseph Lo — along with his wife Jane Huynh and their two children —has launched a GoFundMe to raise money for the seismic fund, setting a personal target of $1,000. At the time of writing, $225 had been raised. Lo said he will likely use GoFundMe next year as well.

The school, which opened in 1961, ranked below “current safety expectations” following a seismic assessment in August, according to Lo’s GoFundMe page.

Since the school is independent, it’s not eligible to receive money from the Richmond School District or provincial government, said Moorehead. The seismic upgrades will be entirely self-funded.

St. Paul’s previously underwent some structural upgrades in 2014, but following changing provincial standards for seismic safety, they are now looking at a more in-depth seismic retrofit, said Moorehead.   

It’s only the early stages yet — the school launched the seismic assessment themselves in June, which was completed in late August. St. Paul’s is currently waiting for an estimate on how much the upgrades will cost, said Moorehead, adding that future Walkathons will also work to raise money for the seismic fund. 

Donations to Lo’s GoFundMe can be made at GoFundMe.com/f/StPauls-School-Walkathon. Tax receipts will be issued for amounts over $25.   

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