The Northern Neighbours Foundation shared the wealth earlier this month, distributing six figures’ worth of funds to several northern groups and community causes.
In total, the foundation gave out about $156,200 in funding to a series of projects for local groups and charities - 24 in total. The donations were announced at a ceremony at Flin Flon City Hall June 15.
The largest donation of the bunch went to the Snow Lake Canada Day committee, who received a total of $21,000. The funding will go toward buying Mobi-Mats for Snow Lake’s main beach area - non-slip access mats allowing for people in wheelchairs or who have mobility issues to get both into and out of the water safely.
Members from the committee were not able to attend the meeting, but did send a letter written by community member Robin Turnbull, who thanked the foundation for the funding.
“With the use of the mats, our local residents and visitors with mobile disabilities will no longer be stuck on the sidelines watching the fun from a distance - they can get right into the middle of the fun,” reads Turnbull’s letter.
“As a father of two beautiful daughters, I am happy that moms and dads will no longer have to plow their strollers through the sand to get their babies or toddlers to a nice spot.”
The Channing Recreation Committee also received $7,650 for their own set of Mobi-Mats at Channing Beach.
The Rotary Club seniors’ housing committee and the Vocational Training Centre also received $15,000 each for roof repairs, with the funds going toward to add new shingles and eavestrophs for Rotary Court and for the centre’s building on Channing Drive respectively.
The Denare Beach Fire Department got $10,865 from the foundation to cover costs for a search and rescue sled to be used to find people lost in remote locations, while the Town of Creighton’s recreation department picked up $10,000 for renovations to the bunk on Broderick Avenue.
Other projects that were funded include $9,215 to Norman Community Services for both door replacements and to send employees to Winnipeg for nonviolent crisis management training, $8,000 to the Lord’s Bounty Food Bank for fixing the concrete and water barrier around the facility’s entrance and $6,000 to Ecole McIsaac School for a refrigerated vending machine to be stocked with healthy lunch options. The City of Flin Flon’s recreation department received $5,500 to cover costs for new gym equipment as part of a youth fitness program, while Hapnot Collegiate’s physical education department also received $6,000 to cover costs for a new cross-training machine for the school’s weight room.
Other groups that received project funding include the Women’s Safe Haven, Inclusion Saskatchewan, the Flin Flon Ski Club, the Cranberry Portage Artisan Market, St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Parish, Legion Senior Housing, the Flin Flon Aboriginal Friendship Centre, the Kiddie Korner Day Care, Denare Beach Recreation, Nemihitowok Hoop Troupe and the Community Adult Learning Centre.
“It’s wonderful. You feel like Santa Claus,” said Jane Robillard, president of the Northern Neighbours Foundation.
“It’s interesting because we get so many applications and it’s hard to decide which ones are really worthy. We always try and deal with people who don’t have other sources of funding, so you know that you’re really helping. It feels just like being Santa Claus - and it’s not your money.”
“It’s a warm and fuzzy feeling. It’s wonderful to be able to give to these projects, because everything makes our community better,” added Shylo Rogers, the group’s executive director.
The foundation receives funding through an endowment from the Winnipeg-based Moffat Family Fund, the Joe Brain Foundation bursary and through local donations. Robillard and Peters said potential donors can connect with the foundation through its website at northernneighbours.com or by reaching out to members of the foundation’s board.