Community foundation showers grants onto Comox Valley charities

LORNE HARDER SPEAKS on behalf of the Comox Valley Community Foundation. - Renée Andor
LORNE HARDER SPEAKS on behalf of the Comox Valley Community Foundation.
— image credit: Renée Andor

There was tea, there were smiles, there was laughter – and there was money.

The Comox Valley Community Foundation gave over $50,000 to 10 local organizations at its annual grant recipient tea on Tuesday.

The Alano Club of Courtenay, a non-profit organization supporting people in 12-step programs, received $15,000 for kitchen renovations.

Emotional manager Cindy Toovey fought back tears as she accepted the cheque.

"This has been an honour. We have a really really old kitchen," said Toovey. "We've already ordered our equipment; everything should be coming in next week."

The Comox Therapeutic Riding Society, which provides therapy to mentally, physically or emotionally challenged individuals through horse-back riding, received $10,735. Barb Haffner, assistant program director, said the money will be invested into the horses.

"If we have a horse that's limping along or isn't properly schooled, it's pretty hard to get those end results," said Haffner, adding that end results include core strength, balance and control.

"If we can teach someone to actually hold onto the reins, it might make the difference for that individual to whether or not they can feed themselves independently once they learn the control of their hands."

Also, along with other grants the society is hoping to get, the money will be used to buy an amplifier for the outdoor ring so instructors can be heard more easily, as well as new equipment.

"It's a wonderful complement to a much larger project that we're going to be doing and this will help us see that through to fruition," said Haffner.

Other grants awarded were: St. Joseph's General Hospital Foundation, $5,280 toward a physical activation and recreation centre; Brooklyn Elementary School, $5,000 for its community coming together project; Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue Association, $4,854 towards safety equipment; Comox Archives and Museum Society, $3,000 for a storage upgrade; Royston Community Club and Recreation Commission, $2,689 towards a safety improvement project; St. John the Divine Abbeyfield House Society, $1,897 for a walkway extension; Kitty Cat P.A.L. Society, $1,800 towards a storage utility trailer; and the 4R's Education Centre Society, $1,028 for a technology and multi-media upgrade.

Lorne Harder, president of the foundation, said over $10,000 more was given out this year than last, and he's pleased with the amount, given economic conditions.

"It's more than last year," he said. "We have had higher in the past, but with current market conditions we're pretty happy to be able to give this much out."

The amount of funds distributed is directly linked to market conditions because the Comox Valley Community Foundation has a base amount of invested money, and gives out the interest accrued without dipping into the primary funds.

Harder said this system makes the foundation sustainable.

"We will provide a flexible vehicle for the long term," he said.

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