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Northern Neighbours bestows latest gift to community projects

Playgrounds, an employment centre, museums and other community infrastructure are set for future growth thanks to grants from the Northern Neighbours Community Foundation.
Northern Neighbours
Groups receiving funds from the Northern Neighbours Foundation included, back row from left: Gary Wickens and Bill Taylor, Cranberry Portage Ski and Hiking Club; Cory Thompson, Flin Flon Minor Hockey; Cindy McLean, Flin Flon Public Library; Wendy Bentley, Creighton Community School; Barb Link, Employment Links Development Centre; Jason Straile, Creighton Community School; Michelle Cooper, Association for Community Living; Sinclair James, Flin Flon Citizens on Patrol Program, Mary-Ann Playford, Cranberry Portage Heritage Museum; Landice Yestrau, NorVA Centre; Amber Kubat, Ruth Betts Community School; Noel Lindsay, Ruth Betts Community School; Alison Dallas and Cathy Daneliuk, Lord’s Bounty Food Bank; and, front row from left: Crystal Banting, Town of Creighton bike park project; Betty Rudd, Snow Lake Mining Museum; Megan Dupas, NorVA Centre; Melissa Morissette, Ruth Betts Enrichment Program; Brenda Hughes, Kiddie Korner Daycare; Colleen Tower, Lord’s Bounty Food Bank.

Playgrounds, an employment centre, museums and other community infrastructure are set for future growth thanks to grants from the Northern Neighbours Community Foundation.

Nearly $80,000 was distributed to community groups and organizations at Northern Neighbours’ annual presentation to the public on Thursday, June 16. Seventeen organizations or projects benefitted from grants provided through four separate funds.

Moffat Family Fund

The largest grant given out during the evening was $11,010 for the Employment Links Development Centre, a project of the Flin Flon Aboriginal Friendship Centre,  from the Moffat Family Fund.

Funds will go towards upgrading the server, hardware and software in the Employment Links computer lab.

“Digital literacy is vital in the workplace,” said Northern Neighbours board member Mary Wright in reading the board’s decision.

Another $5,000 was granted to the Town of Creighton Recreation Association to help develop the novice section of a 16,500-sq-ft bike skills park scheduled to be constructed this fall. The project will also be funded partly by a $25,000 grant from the Saskatchewan Community Initiatives Fund, and a matching grant from the Town of Creighton.

The Vocational Training Centre (VTC), operated by the Association for Community Living, received $3,019 for the purchase of a stovetop and wall oven for the VTC life skills program.

A further $5,000 was granted to the Parent Advisory Council (PA) at Ruth Betts Community School for their playground redevelopment initiative, which will include using recycled tire mulch for a new landing and play surface. The PAC has also received a $20,000 grant towards this project from Manitoba Tire Stewardship, a not-for-profit industry organization.

Cranberry Portage Hiking and Ski Trail Association was granted $1,985 to purchase materials for a custom built roller, wooden packer and sleigh for trail maintenance.

The association plans to partner with Frontier Collegiate Institute’s woodworking and construction program, with students building the new equipment.

Flin Flon Minor Hockey received $5,000 to support the Hockey Manitoba Initiation Program, which focuses on fundamental skills for players aged six and under. The grant is intended to cover the cost of ice dividers so that multiple groups can use the ice surface at the same time.

Another $2,986 was granted towards repairs at the Women’s Safe Haven interim housing property. Northern Neighbours chairwoman Jane Robillard said the property had been vandalized by youth last summer, and noted those who participated in the vandalism will be required to assist in the rebuild.

Flin Flon Kiddie Korner Daycare Centre received $5,000 to replace the centre’s carpet with vinyl tile, and to purchase seating for an outside playground.

Two recreation projects at Creighton Community School received grant funds. 

$5,000 was granted to help cover the costs of maintaining the school’s Oval of Dreams field, a soccer pitch and running track used by various sports teams. 

$5,000 was provided to the Creighton Community School Playground Revitalization Project.

The school plans to purchase and install three new types of equipment over the next two budget years including two sets of swings, a zip line, and a junior fitness system with seven stations for students in grade 4
and up.

Joe Brain Fund

The Flin Flon Public Library received $7,643 from the Joe Brain Fund to upgrade the library’s reception area, back offices and staff washroom.  

A further $9,348 was granted to the Flin Flon Citizens on Patrol Program to purchase an electronic speed-monitoring sign. COPP chairman Sinclair James said the sign can be moved between a number of different locations around the community. 

Northern Neighbours Smart & Caring Fund

The Northern Visual Arts Centre (NorVA) received a $3,296 grant from the Northern Neighbours Smart & Caring Fund to modify the arts centre’s bathroom to be wheelchair accessible. 

Another $1,475 was granted to the Snow Lake Mining Museum to upgrade the museum’s computer system and software. 

The Cranberry Portage Heritage Museum received $6,357 towards the installation of highway signs to promote the museum, and flags and poles. 

Youth in Philanthropy

Two Hapnot Collegiate students, Heaven Graham and Abby Wiens, presented $2,500 worth of grants that they helped to administer as members of the Youth in Philanthropy program at the high school. The program is a three-way partnership between the Thomas Sill Foundation, the Northern Neighbours Foundation and Hapnot Collegiate.

The youth club decided to grant $700 to the Ruth Betts Pay it Forward group in the school’s enrichment program, and granted $2,000 to the Lord’s Bounty Food Bank.

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