2018 Community EKC Cash award winners collect a total of $7,773

The Community Cash Awards provide EKC members, and the community, the opportunity to ‘invest in' the winners.

The Cranbrook Garden Club being presented with a cheque.

The Cranbrook Garden Club were the big winners of the East Kootenay Community Credit Union's Community Cash awards. — Photo courtesy EKCCU

Members and guests joined East Kootenay Community Credit Union (EKC) for the financial institution’s 68th Annual General Meeting, at the end of April. Jean-Ann Debreceni, Chair of the Board of Directors, welcomed the crowd of 140 members and guests. The acclaimed Directors, Jean-Ann Debreceni, Barb Nunes and Russell Pask and Board members Don Holt, Diane Byford, Mark Spittael, Jose Galdamez and Lynnette Wray were thanked for their time and commitment.

Jean-Ann Debreceni spoke to the role of the Board of Directors and emphasized their decisions are always based on what is best for the members. CEO Jody Burk spoke of their success being a balance of financials, member satisfaction, employee engagement and community value.

The Community Cash Awards, which aimed to develop healthy and diverse communities, offered local community groups an opportunity to apply for funding. Unlike other funding initiatives, the Community Cash Awards provided EKC members, and the community, the opportunity to ‘invest in’ and select the award winners.

According to Lynnette Wray, Chair of the Nominating Committee, “We received 14 very strong applications and made the difficult decisions narrowing that list down to the six finalists. Everyone who participated in our AGM had the chance to invest EKC’s Community Cash. We are thrilled to announce EKC has given out $7,773 in total. All groups are winners, and we truly want to congratulate all of our finalists who did an incredible job raising awareness about the important work they do in Cranbrook area.”

$946 went to Symphony of the Kootenays

Symphony of the Kootenays (SOTK) mandate is to present live orchestral concert performances and facilitate key cultural and community objectives. These include engaging professional musicians, audiences, and youth to ensure that a valuable and long-standing tradition remains vibrant and viable.

$994 went to Rockies Rowing Club

Rockies Rowing Club teaches and trains those interested in the sport of rowing. Rowing can be a life-long leisure activity as it is low impact and provides an opportunity to commune with nature. Access to other lakes increases skill level for rowers and therefore a portable boat and motor are required for safety. Rowing supports safety, fitness, well-being, inclusivity, youth engagement that all make our area a better place to live.

$1,110 went to Cranbrook Community Forest Society

The Cranbrook Community Forest provides an easily accessible opportunity for people to get outdoors for exercise, for a meaningful connection with the local natural environment and for an education destination. Funds will be used for the purchase of educational signage designed to inform the public of how a healthy forest contributes to a healthy environment for nearby communities and the biodiversity of the area.

$1,341 went to Cranbrook Boys and Girls Club

Impact Youth Cycling Adventures is run by Youth Impact Centre. It is a free program for youth in middle and high school ages 12-18. The program provides fun activities, physical fitness and learning experiences for youth. Impact Cycling Adventures will help fund bicycles, safety equipment, and tools to support group rides. In addition to biking, youth will learn about safety, healthy living and connect to the outdoors.

$1,433 went to Rotary Club of Cranbrook Sunrise

The We-Bike cycling program, run by Rotary Club of Cranbrook Sunrise, educates and engages Grade 4 students in a positive cycling experience that builds skills in a fun and safe learning environment. Bikes and helmets are provided to enable all students to join in the fun and learn important cycling skills. The program consists of 3 sessions/class and is instructed by local coaches and volunteers. To enhance their We-Bike cycling program the Rotary Club of Cranbrook Sunrise will use funds to produce a Kootenay Kids Cycling Handbook on skills, safety, bike care, road safety, hand signals, local cycling opportunities & more. Every Grade 4 student will receive a copy of the handbook.

$1,949 went to Cranbrook Garden Club

Cranbrook Garden Club (CGC) had the most Community Cash. They received $949 Community Cash dollars from members and guests, $500 for attending and a bonus of $500 for having the most Community Cash! CGC received $1,949 from EKC!

CGC has welcomed people who have an interest in gardening, beautification, and appreciation for 25 years. Cranbrook Open Garden Day (OGD) is a one-day self-guided garden and art tour where the public can learn from local gardeners and artists. The funds will be used to bring in a formal speaker to further inspire and educate the public about their own gardens and community beautification projects.

This is the second time the Community Cash Award has come to Cranbrook. Last year it supported seven Elk Valley groups.

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