Community Foundation grants $223,000 to local charities

Keremeos and the Lower Similkameen receive $5,400 worth of Community Foundation grants

Community Foundation grants $223,000 to local charities


The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen recently awarded $223,000 in grants to charities throughout the Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen.

Community Foundation grants come from earnings on investments of just over $9 million.  The original donation values are protected to ensure a permanent source of grants for local causes.  “While it’s not essential for donations to the Community Foundation to be permanently endowed,” said McRann, “The reality is that most of our donors appreciate the concept of providing a legacy of giving for charities they care about.  Donors who feel this way tend to value the idea of investing the original donation and providing annual grants to local groups based on the earnings from those investments.”

Of the $223,000 in grants made in 2014, $119,000 was available through the Smart & Caring Communities grants program where charities submit project applications through a competitive bid process.  “The application review process is quite challenging,” said Doug McPherson, chair of the Community Foundation Grants Committee.  “We had 65 very good applications for all kinds of different projects.  We study the applications and pick the strongest ones, but we also have to consider the wishes of the donors that have set up the endowment funds.  In the end, we were able to support 24 of the 65 applicants,” added McPherson.

The remaining $104,000 in grants are given to charities designated specifically by the donors.  Some donors make a permanent designation so that their endowment fund will always support a specific charity.  In some other cases, the donor will provide annual advice to the Community Foundation as to which charity they wish to support.

This year’s grants impacting Okanagan Falls and the Lower Similkameen were given to the following projects:

– Hedley Seniors Centre received $2,500 for new tables and a storage cart for the centre.

– Okanagan Falls Women’s Institute received $10,000 towards the construction of the Band shell in Okanagan Falls.

– Similkameen Secondary School received $380 from the Pat Clark Memorial Bursary.

– Penticton & District Community Resources Society received $5,000 to set-up a new childcare facility in Cawston  and Keremeos.

Half the funds will be used to purchase furniture and equipment for both locations, while the other half will  help to cover costs for the team leader to get the centres up and running.

School District 53 issued two Requests for Proposals for childcare operators in both Cawston and Keremeos. PDCRS was the successful proponent for both RFPs.

“We understand there is limited options for childcare in both communities. Therefore, our goal is to increase the number of childcare spaces in each of these communities, and to create quality learning opportunities for children to play, learn and grow with their peers.

“Additionally, we will provide a safe place for children so their parents can work and contribute to the economy in the region.

“The two new centres will provide a continuum of childcare options including infant toddler, preschool, 3-5 care and before and afterschool school care,” said Community Foundation Regional Development Coordinator Sarah Trudeau