East Kootenay Community Credit Union (EKC) is in its fourth year of the annual Community Award program for its members and communities. This year, $12,500 in awards will be available in each Elk Valley community of Sparwood, Fernie and Elkford for community initiatives. The deadline to submit a proposal is January 27th.
In 2008, EKC launched an exciting opportunity for its members and communities. The Community Award is a four-year initiative that started with giving back $100,000. However it was recently increased to $112,500 when EKC announced their plans to open a branch in Sparwood.
Projects which are bold, innovative, exciting create a lasting legacy and support social, economic or environmental wellbeing in the community will be highly valued. EKC encourages all interested community organizations and charities in Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford to submit a proposal to capture this exciting opportunity.
According to EKC Board Member Cindy Corrigan, “The program is designed to make a significant difference in the communities where the EKC operates. The award proposals will be short-listed by a committee of EKC’s staff, management and Board of Directors and then voted on by its members. The program is quite unique. We truly value our members’ opinion and that is why the recipients of the $12,500 in Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford will be chosen by EKC’s own members. We encourage all types of community groups to apply because we know funds are needed by newly formed groups as well as established societies.”
Barb Nunes EKC Board of Directors in Sparwood adds, “It’s important to note that the Community Award program is a separate one from the recent ‘Nominate Your Neighbour’ campaign in Sparwood which started in November. With that program, EKC provided Sparwood residents the opportunity to nominate people who they felt made a real difference to the community. Both the Community Award program and the Nominate Your Neighbour campaign demonstrates the community involvement and community spirit of EKC and its members.”
EKC was very excited to increase the contribution this year to be able to provide a Community Award in Sparwood where a new branch has opened. One award of $12,500 in Sparwood in 2012 is a significant amount that will support a local Sparwood organization and their programming.”
Previous Community Awards have been provided to the following:
- 2009 $25,000 Cranbrook – the East Kootenay Foundation for Health for their Daybreak Community Bus initiative
- 2010 $12,500 Elkford – The Wapiti Ski Club in Elkford for a Snow Cat/Snow Groomer Replacement and
- 2010 $12,500 Fernie – Elk Valley Hospice Fernie and Area for Palliative Care Equipment and Grief Circle Companioning Session.
- 2011 $25,000 Cranbrook – Studio Stage Door to increase access while maintaining the historic façade and installing two stair lifts.
The EKC Community Awards program provides not only funding to community projects, but also offers information and mentorship and can help spread the word for beneficial community initiatives. Cindy Hesje, Elkford Branch Manager says, “We invite all community groups to submit an application. Our goal with this program is to empower organizations by working with them to reach their goals. Often, information, mentoring and helping to get the word out can be just as valuable as financial assistance.”