Hungry kids were the big winners when the Maple Ridge Community Foundation gave grants to community groups on Thursday night.
In a ceremony at The Act, the foundation presented the representatives of 15 non-profit and charitable organizations with oversize cheques, and grants totaling $32,500.
Of those, six grants totaling $17,000 were for school meal programs that provide breakfast and/or lunch to children in the city.
The MC for the evening was former mayor Ernie Daykin, who also chairs the grants committee. He said the foundation received requests for support that totaled $140,000.
“It was no easy task for the grants committee to work through these applications,” he said.
He noted that the committee originally had $22,500 to work with, but Ian Speckman of Maple Ridge Chrysler Jeep Dodge came through with a $10,000 donation that allowed the foundation to offer more school meal programs support.
2016 is the 40th anniversary year for the foundation, and it put together a legacy capital campaign has raised $250,000 for all of its initiatives. It happened “with the help of a lot of people who believe in giving back to the community,” noted director Bonnie Telep.
There were some major donations, including Ron and Alma Jones of West Coast Ford donated $50,000, Norm and Betty Pelton donated $25,000, Johnson Meier Insurance $20,000.
“We’re doing awesome,” said Telep.
President Monica Hampu said it was a banner year for the organization.
“We had a goal to raise $200,000 by the end of the year, and we actually achieved and surpassed the goal,” she said. “And it was a very ambitious goal.”
“We also tried to raise a lot of awareness in the community, because a lot of people don’t know who we are, and the many things we do,” added Hampu.
“Besides the grants we give scholarships, and we help people in need through the community chest – neighbours helping neighbours.”
For more about the foundation see www.mrcf.ca.
The list of grants recipients included:
- The Asante Centre for local speech and language therapy resources.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley for the Mind Up program.
- Friends In Need Food Bank for their school breakfast & snack program.
- Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Community Services for the seniors activity bus outing program.
- Alisa’s Wish Child & Youth Advocacy Centre (directed from George Mussallem Youth Fund) for the Child and Youth Victim Abuse Support Program.
- Rotary Club of Haney Lunch Bag Program providing healthy lunches for 186 children.
- Ridge Meadows Youth Wellness Centre for psychiatry and clinic counselling services.
- North Fraser Therapeutic Riding Association (NFTRA) for one year care for therapeutic equine.
- Ridge Meadows Child Development Centre for specialized adapted equipment and supplies.
- Connex Alternate School for their school nutrition program for 80+ at risk secondary students.
- Eric Langton Elementary School for the breakfast and lunch meal program for elementary-aged students.
- Glenwood Elementary for their breakfast program for 40 to 80 students.
- CEED Centre Society for the Seniors Stay Active program.
- Three Rivers Area Scouts (directed from George Mussallem Youth fund) for Scouts memberships.
- Youth Unlimited MRPM for breakfast to 600 students weekly in 5 high schools.