Earlier this week, the Quesnel Community Foundation presented $80,400 in grant funding to 12 community groups involved in everything from swimming and 4-H to mentoring programs and Special Olympics.
The Quesnel Community Foundation has given out $629,000 since 2001, Bruce Broughton, who is chair of the foundation’s grant committee, told the group assembled April 2 at the Billy Barker Casino and Hotel for the Grant Awards.
“This has been made possible by the generous support of people like you,” he said. “We give here because you live here, and we thank you.”
The Quesnel Community Foundation was established in 2001, and the foundation exists to meet the needs of the community through the growth and management of permanent endowment funds. The endowment capital never gets spent, but the foundation uses the money generated from interest to distribute grants and bursaries in the community.
Broughton thanked the City of Quesnel and the Cariboo Regional District for their support, and he thanked the foundation’s sustaining partners, whose support — along with the funds raised at the foundation’s fundraising events — ensures they don’t need to spend capital from the foundation’s endowment fund.
During the Grant Awards Celebration, the Pet Safe Coalition Society of Canada received the foundation’s largest-ever donation, $20,000, for an office trailer.
This is Pet Safe’s first Quesnel Community Foundation grant.
“Pet Safe Coalition has been in Quesnel since 2014, and every year we seem to be growing because there is more need for us to be out there,” said Debbie Knabke.
Knabke explained that the trailer will provide a mobile office and will also be able to provide them with a pre-anaesthetic animal intake area that is sterile.
“This trailer will make us ready to deploy whenever and wherever we are needed,” she said. “We can’t thank the community and the foundation enough.”
The Quesnel Curling Centre received $10,000 for an accessibility lift.
“The Curling Centre has undergone renovations over the last couple of years, and the Shot Rock Lounge is up and running, but we still have accessibility issues with it,” said Dave Plant, noting this lift will enable wheelchair athletes and people with mobility challenges a chance to enjoy the newly-renovated lounge.
The Quesnel Aquatic Club received $8,500 for time clock components.
This equipment will allow the club to use the score clock in the pool so that people watching swim meets can see what is going on, explained Mike Fisher, noting the Sea Lions have about 40-60 kids and have been around more than 40 years.
The Back Country Horsemen of B.C. North Cariboo Chapter received an $8,000 grant for a new trailhead for the Collins Overland Telegraph Trail (COTT), which the chapter has been working on for the past five years.
“The COTT was put together in 1865,” said chapter chair Rob LaFrance. “The Back Country Horsemen have been here fire years now, and we’ve worked on restoring the telegraph trail.”
The Lightning Creek Ski Club received $8,000 for a timing hut/tent, a computer and safety equipment.
“We really promote the love of skiing, and we hold races at Troll,” said Michelle Klapatiuk. “This money will help us hold bigger events and spread the love of skiing even more.”
The club has been around more than 40 years and currently has about 60 youth in its programs, she noted.
The Quesnel Rod and Gun Club received $6,0000 for fencing.
The club has a lot of history in Quesnel, and they have trophies dating back to 1913, noted Bob Monk.
The Quesnel Outback Quadders received $6,000 — including $1,800 from the Holger Bauer Forest Safety Memorial Fund — for a wetland bypass trail.
“We have 84 kilometres of trails that have been opened up, and they are open to the community,” said Jack Service. “We have riders in Prince George, Vanderhoof, Burns Lake and Williams Lake, and we have people coming up here all the time to ride our trails.”
This money will help the club hire equipment to build a couple of bridges to get across wetlands, he explained.
The Quesnel and District 4-H Council received $5,000 for safety equipment and penning for show animals.
“4-H has grown to over 70 members, and we have four clubs in the district this year,” said Erin Kishkan.
The Quesnel and District Child Development Centre received $3,500 for UPPSEE mobility devices for the centre’s community lending library.
This UPPSEE is a harness that allows you to attach a child’s feet to your feet so they can walk with you, explained Esther Platts.
“We will get five of them, and I’m just over the moon,” she said. “I know of three or four children we will try it with right away, and it’s going to be exceptional.”
Quesnel Special Olympics received $2,400 for track and field equipment.
“We have been lucky enough to borrow and coerce people to let us use their track and field equipment,” said Karen Prosk. “We are getting some of our own equipment, and we hope to be able to share it with the high school because they’ve been so good to us. We’ve really grown a lot in the last few years, and it’s because of the support of you and many of you in the organizations you are involved in.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters received $1,500 to purchase two laptops and three chairs for their office.
Lorene Pulles says they serve about 200 children a year, working in the schools and through mentoring programs, and they currently have 30 children on a waiting list for the one-on-one mentoring program.
The Therapy and Reading Assistance Pets (TARAPS) received $1,500 for carry bags for the dog handlers.
This is a brand-new organization, although the members were previously members of the Cariboo Hoofbeats Assisted Activity Program Society (CHAAPS).
“When CHAAPS folded last year, the dog teams started a new organization that is just dogs,” explained Merial Wild. “We go to visit Dunrovin and Maeford Place, and we do one-on-one reading with students at Riverview. So many people, especially at Dunrovin, had pets, and it makes such a big difference. It’s very rewarding work, and there’s a great need in this community.”
Wild says they have 15 dogs right now, and they have a “tremendous need” for dogs and handlers.
The Quesnel Community Foundation is raising money for its next round of grant awards during its Gala Saturday, April 13 at the Quesnel and District Seniors Centre.
A Night to Remember: Remembering and Celebrating Quesnel starts at 6 p.m. at the Quesnel and District Seniors Centre and features cocktails, a sit-down dinner, a live auction, live music and dancing.
Tickets are $60 and are available at Circle ’S’ Western Wear or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.