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Electoral areas contribute $25,000 to Shuswap wildfire relief

Grant-in-aid fund to support Shuswap Community Foundation Emergency Response Fund
A Shuswap Community Foundation logo made to promote #ShuswapStrong in the wake of wildfires. The foundation announced the Emergency Response Grants program Aug. 30, 2023. (Shuswap Community Foundation image)

The Shuswap Community Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund for wildfire relief received a $25,000 boost courtesy of regional district grant-in-aid funding.

At its Sept. 14 meeting, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) approved numerous grant-in-aid requests for electoral areas A, C, D, F and G. Grant-in-aid funding is available to assist non-profit societies or organizations, as well as registered charitable organizations that, according to the CSRD, “provide community or regional benefit and enrichment to enhance the quality of life for residents.”

On the list of prospective grant-in-aid recipients for September 2023 were several grants for the Shuswap Community Foundation (SCF) Emergency Response Fund, including $5,000 each from electoral areas A, C and G, and $10,000 from Electoral Area F.

Regarding these SCF grants, Electoral Area E (Rural Sicamous, Malakwa, Swansea Point) director Rhona Martin noted that in the past, when the board was asked to donate towards wildfire relief in the Cariboo, it was told “no, we couldn’t… Perhaps that was because it was to the Cariboo, I’m not sure.”

In response, Electoral Area C (Tappen, White Lake, Eagle Bay) director Marty Gibbons said the SCF is a charitable foundation, one the City of Salmon Arm and the District of Sicamous relies on to distribute their grants in aid, “so I don’t see why you would think they wouldn’t be OK for this.”

“I brought that forward Marty – don’t make light of the fact that we all, as directors sitting around the table, wanted to assist the Cariboo when they were burning up,” said Martin.

Chair Kevin Flynn pointed out the deputy treasurer of financial services wouldn’t have included the SCF grants for board approval if they didn’t comply with CSRD policy.

“I just wanted to make mention of it,” replied Martin.

Gibbons continued with his plug for the SCF, stating it’s a “local, charitable organization with local people sitting on the board making these decisions…”

“I personally feel this local option is a great option to kind of get those funds back into the community,” said Gibbons.

Read more: Donations continue pouring in to aid Shuswap communities impacted by wildfire

Read more: Shuswap auto enthusiasts raise $53,100 for communities impacted by wildfire
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