Pamela Anderson at the RASTA Sanctuary. (Photo submitted)

Pamela Anderson at the RASTA Sanctuary. (Photo submitted)

Pamela Anderson pledges to help build barn for RASTA Sanctuary in Chemainus

Construction on the barn is expected to take just two months

Lucie Cerny has been operating Rescue And Sanctuary for Threatened Animals — a sanctuary for farm animals retired from the agricultural industry — for the past 20 years. In all that time, she never imagined she’d meet Ladysmith’s most famous resident, Pamela Anderson.

“It was an absolute honour, one truly beyond words to have the opportunity to host Ms. Anderson, her partner and their young son at our humble little Sanctuary here in Chemainus,” Cerny said in a Facebook post.

Anderson said she was moved by the work that Cerny is doing at RASTA.

Pamela Anderson at the RASTA Sanctuary. (Photo submitted)

Pamela Anderson at the RASTA Sanctuary. (Photo submitted)

“I was delighted and impressed by the peacefulness, happiness of the animals living in communities — not separated like a lot of sanctuaries have,” she said.

RELATED: Pamela Anderson returns home to enjoy ‘peace and solitude’ of Ladysmith

“It says so much about Lucie and her small group of dedicated volunteers. These are rescued vulnerable farm animals. Saved from slaughterhouses and other cruel terrible lives. It’s a mini heaven. It is emotional to be there. I look around and I can feel the effort put in to the design of the property. What’s gone into making the animals feel safe and loved. Lucie is an angel.”

Cerny gave Anderson a tour of the property, and after introducing Anderson the various animals at RASTA, pointed out the aging barn that RASTA has been working to replace.

The barn lacks a foundation and is sinking into the earth. It also lacks a proper roof. RASTA has fundraised for the last two years, and managed to raise $100,000 for a new barn. A previous builder had given a quote of $150,000, but after a lengthy mill strike and the pandemic, the new quote soared to $450,000.

“That completely utterly gutted us,” Cerny said.

RASTA was further gutted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the sanctuary to cancel their farm tours — a major source of funding for the charity.

Outside of farm tours, one of the main fundraisers for RASTA has been sales of a farm calendar. Cerny had hoped that Anderson would sign one of the RASTA 20th anniversary calendars, but Anderson blew Cerny away when she offered to help replace the aging barn.

“I get goosebumps. I get kind of choked up honestly,” Cerny said. “To have somebody of that incredible status to take an interest in what RASTA is and what RASTA has been doing, it was such a tremendous honour to have that validation from someone I look up to so much.”

A few hours later, Anderson returned with her partner Dan Hayhurst — a local builder with DHS Homes. Hayhurst happily agreed to take on the project.

RELATED: Pamela Anderson talks plans for waterfront Ladysmith property after 12-day marriage

“I was happy and even surprised when Dan told her he’d do it. Now, He is obsessed. He’s making calls everyday. Organizing/reviewing plans etc,” Anderson said. “I love it. I love to turn people on to charity. To do things from the heart and for no other reason. It’s what makes life worthwhile.”

The couple has pledged to do the entire project for a budget of $100,000. Hayhurst has set about finding materials for discounted prices, and has drawn together a talented team to help with the project.

“It’s amazed me how generous this community of people are — all you have to do is ask. Gifts of materials for the build are tax deductible. Services are not. I’m happy to help out free of charge. I’m not expecting anything out of this, but a few happy, healthy animals,” he said.

Hayhurst said that in a few short months, Cerny will have a brand new barn.

Once completed, the barn will house rescued birds, hay, feed, and will act as a quarantine space for new arrivals to RASTA. As it stands now, Cerny keeps the hay in her carport, the feed in her basement, and has a quarantine space in her home for new arrivals.

RASTA Sanctuary is still in need of donations to cover the costs of care for their animals. RASTA is a registered Canadian charity, any donations to RASTA are tax deductible.

For their part, Anderson and Hayhurst said that they are on the hunt for other opportunities to give back to the community.

RELATED: Very Good Butchers team up with Pamela Anderson Foundation to support plant-based eating

“We’re looking forward to doing other helpful projects in town,” Hayhurst said. “Pamela always has her eyes peeled. Not sure what I got myself into, but I love it.”

Pamela Anderson and her partner Dan Hayhurst say they’re looking to do more community projects in the future. (Submitted photo)

Pamela Anderson and her partner Dan Hayhurst say they’re looking to do more community projects in the future. (Submitted photo)

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No face-offs until at least Dec. 8 after the BCHL shuts down pre-sesason play. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Capitals’ exhibition season cut short

BCHL cancels remainder of the pre-season

Gracie couldn’t stop nursing from her previous owner’s goats which was problematic given the goats were trying to be dried out to breed. Gracie now lives at A Home for Hooves. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Cowichan animal sanctuary gets international accreditation

A Home for Hooves farm sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

The field at Sherman Road is closed to travelling teams after soccer is shut down due to COVID-19. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Soccer in Cowichan put on hold due to COVID-19

“We have a temporary clarification that we can’t travel to other communities”

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from daycare in Nanaimo

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Most Read