Barb Brouwer/Salmon Arm Observer John White and Melanie Dyer with the Shuswap Community Foundation call up grant recipients to the stage during the annual community meeting.

Community foundation shares the wealth

Shuswap group supports local charities and initiatives

Despite the old adage, sometimes it just seems to be more fun to receive than give.

That was certainly the case Thursday, Sept. 28 when representatives of many Shuswap non-profit societies attended the annual meeting of the Shuswap Community Foundation.

However, each person in the near-capacity crowd at Elk’s Hall represented a group that gives to the community in many vital ways.

The annual report indicates a growth of close to $1 million in the foundation’s investment portfolio at year-end over the previous year. And distribution of grants this year will see the foundation pass the $2 million mark since its inception.

“This is my favourite day of the year,” enthused Cindy Derkaz, founding member of the foundation. “It’s just like Christmas.”

Contrary to his comments regarding his inappropriateness as MC, foundation treasurer John Wood was articulate and entertaining, his humour setting the happy tone for the evening.

Recipients of grants over the past year were given two minutes to express their gratitude and explain what their particular group had done with the money, – a timeline most people honoured.

From snowshoeing opportunities for people with developmental disabilities, music, pool and bus passes to repairs at the SPCA branch, geo-thermal heating for the museum, literacy programs and more, the foundation’s discretionary spring grants totalled $68,000.

Fall discretionary grants totalled $49,000 and included funding for many more valuable community projects that ranged from training in suicide alertness to the arts, band equipment, various senior support groups and providing security to a donkey barn.

Donor-directed grants were of a similar eclectic mix and totalled $138,000. Individual grants ranged from a $350 scholarship to $70,584 for improvements at the Shuswap branch of the SPCA.

The grants covered the many areas that make for a vital, compassionate, caring and healthy community for all age groups from babies to seniors.

The Shuswap Community Foundation serves an area that encompasses Malakwa and Sicamous in the east, through to the South Shuswap, North Shuswap, south to Ranchero, Salmon Valley and Falkland.

The foundation’s annual report holds a wealth of information and is available at the office located on Lakeshore Drive in the Shuswap Community Futures office.

For more information, drop in to the office Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. or phone 250-832-5428.

Information is also available at

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