Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 27, 2003
Car dealer provides
free parking for St. Anthony's
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Regular parishioners at St. Anthony-St. Agnes Parish have one more reason to rejoice.
Prestige on Whyte car dealership, donated 100 passes for parking at the Impark parkade, located almost across from the church. Parishioners who have been registered for at least two months can get a one-year pass.
Valid on Saturdays between 7-9 p.m. and on Sundays, between 10-1 p.m., parishioners can get the pass from the parish office on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Impark parkade is a few stores west of Varscona Hotel on 106 Street and Whyte Avenue.
About a year ago, Bill Dekker, owner of Prestige, who leases the lot on the east side of the church, brought up the parking problem of the church to the owner of Varscona Hotel. The hotel owner referred him to the operator of Impark.
For 17 years, Dekker, a member of OLPH Parish in Sherwood Park, has been leasing the lot. Moving his car dealership to another location will not free up enough parking spots.
He decided to buy some parking time from Impark and donate it to the parish for the parishioners to use.
"I did this first of all for the parishioners," Dekker told the WCR.
Don Wong, the parish business manager, said, "We have a long-time relationship with Bill and this is a win-win situation."
Father Jack Gallagher encourages more mobile parishioners to use the pass to park at Impark, to free up parking spots around the church for the older parishioners, who are less mobile.
The centre aisle of Prestige on Whyte's lot is another place parishioners can park on weekends.
Wong says "parking is not a unique problem of St. Anthony Parish. It is a common challenge to many parishes in a growing city like Edmonton."
"We want to let the people know that parking is no longer a problem at St. Anthony's Church."
For those with handicaps, the parish will assign at least six spots at the back of the church. From there they can access the church using a ramp.
"We are preparing a mail-out to former Immaculate Heart of Mary parishioners to inform them the passes are available for them should they choose to attend St. Anthony," Wong said.
He also noted Dekker has always supported the parish. Aside from donating parking passes, he also puts up signs for Mass times, just below the sign of Prestige.
The parish has so far distributed 16 passes. To get one, call 432-0611.