Jeneece Edroff was honoured with a street name change for her accomplishments and the fifth anniversary of home-away-from-home. (Jessica Fedigan/News Gazette Staff)

Jeneece Edroff honoured with renaming of Hospital Way

Jeneece Place has hosted more than 1,500 families

A part of View Royal’s Hospital Way has been renamed to Jeneece Place to honour home-away-from-home’s anniversary as well as recognize the work Jeneece Edroff has done.

Many remember Jeneece as the penny girl. Her penny drive brought in more than $1.5 million to assist children throughout the province. After that goal had been accomplished, she turned her sights to creating Jeneece Place. With help from community partners, $6.5 million was raised and Jeneece Place opened its doors on January 23, 2012.

Island Health together with council in View Royal passed a motion earlier in the year to rename a section of the road to celebrate Jeneece Place’s fifth anniversary.

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View Royal Mayor David Screech and Bill Snell, board chair of Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island, as well as Bruce Williams and other guests were on hand to unveil the new street name.

Edroff said it’s an absolute honour to have part of the road named after her.

“This is absolutely incredible. Who can say at age 23 that ‘oh look, I have a place named after me.’ It’s absolutely insane to have a street named now after me,” Edroff said. “It’s absolutely incredible and a dream come true.”

She added that Jeneece Place is something she holds very close to her heart.

“It’s my baby in a sense,” she said. “It’s something I created and something I wanted to grow. You don’t realize how much something is needed until it’s built and there are families in it and to realize there is a lot of premature babies that have gotten healthier and lived because the mothers were close to home and hospital and didn’t have to worry, it is quite a good feeling.”

Edroff said she plans to continue to fundraise for her community. She also knows what its like to go through troubling times medically.

“I was in and out of hospital my whole life,” she said. “We stayed at Ronald Mc Donald house quite a lot. I realized for how many kids have cancer, and how many rooms there were, it wasn’t enough and I wanted to help them out,” she explained. “It’s people like the families here that make me want to keep doing it.”

Snell said Jeneece has inspired the Children’s Health Foundation since day one and continues to do so.

“The success of Jeneece Place is a testament to how health care needs have shifted across Island communities and, even more importantly, to what’s possible when you’re brave enough to dream it,” he said. “Jeneece’s vision and dedication continue to inspire the foundation everyday.”

View Royal Mayor David Screech said the council wanted to find a way to recognize Jeneece and her impact on the community.

“Our council wanted to find a way to honour Jeneece and acknowledge the growing impact that Jeneece Place has made in our community in these past five years,” he said. “Renaming the part of the Hospital Way that Jeneece Place sits on is a celebration of this important milestone.”

Since opening, Jeneece Place has hosted more than 1,500 families that are travelling to medical care, with more than 70 per cent living outside the region.

jessica.fedigan@goldstreamgazette.com