Story – December 16, 2014
Grants help Valley flourish – Community awarded nearly $38,000
— December 16, 2014 by Terra Pohl, Swan Valley Star and Times —
The Community Foundation of Swan Valley (CFSV) held their 10th annual meeting and grant night on Thursday, December 4 at the Westwood Inn’s banquet room. During the evening, nearly $38,000 in grants were given to more than 30 recipients.
“Tonight is a culmination of why the CFSV exists,” said CFSV chair Keith Behrmann. “The money is there simply because of the generosity of the people in this Valley.” Built entirely of donations made to the foundation since its inception in 2005, approximately $1.8 million dollars is collecting interest that is given back to the community in the form of grants.
“From July 2013 to June 2014, there were donations received in the endowment fund of approximately $76,000,” said BMP Chartered Accountant auditor Marc Provencher, who gave the auditor’s report. “That’s how much the fund increased over the year, plus its earnings.” Anyone who wishes can view the full audited financial statement at BMP Chartered Accountants.
Following the auditor’s report, grants were given to those whose applications were approved. This year’s grant recipients included the Town of Minitonas’ enhancement project, which has been working to improve the Minitonas Town Hall. “The idea is to give people a place to hang out and be a community together,” said Town of Minitonas CAO Carolyn Gordon, who was present to accept the grant. “We were hoping to also add on a senior centre. We have an active group of seniors in our community, and we’re trying to encourage that.”
The Swan Valley Crisis Centre (SVCC) will make a more child friendly environment with the grant it received from the CFSV. “We will be using the money as part of our fence renovation,” said SVCC board chair Corrine Wieler-Harris. “As it is right now, children can’t play outside because the fence is not safe.” The SVCC offers crisis housing for women and children, and second base housing accommodations where families can live for up to one year.
The Kenville Memorial Hall (KMH) will be able to continue renovations with a grant accepted by KMH board president Allan Barker. “We just went through a major repair on our roof which tapped us out,” he said. “So, we’d be on hold for renovations if it wasn’t for the CFSV.”
Snowboarders will appreciate the Skateboard Union’s snowboard park which has been contributed to by a grant from the CFSV. “We look forward to the winter season and putting CFSV contribution toward bettering snowboarding in the Valley,” said Mel Edmunds, who accepted the grant on behalf of the Skateboard Union. “We welcome you all to take part in experiencing this winter pastime.” The snowboard park will be available for use at the Thunderhill Ski Club during the winter season.
The Elbert Chartrand Friendship Centre’s (ECFC) youth program received a grant in support of its programming. “This grant from the CFSV will be going to computers,” said ECFC board member Bernice Chartrand, who noted that the program otherwise lost its funding.
In closing, Behrmann shared his thoughts on the word ‘community’. “Community can be bricks and mortar, services offered, friends, neighbours, and all things in between,” he said, encouraging those present to consider what they have and enjoy in our community, and to do their part to support these things. You can create a legacy for others to build on. Believe in yourself – you can make a difference. The opportunities are there, you just have to take advantage of them." If you are interested in learning more about the CFSV, go online to cfswanvalley.ca or phone 204-734-9129.