Posted & filed under Community, Non-profit Groups.

The East Kootenay Community Credit Union (EKC) has announced the list of finalists for their second Community Cash Awards. The Community Cash Awards aims to develop healthy and diverse communities. It also offers an opportunity for local groups to receive funding and build awareness. Seven finalists were selected from 20 very worthy applications. Unlike other funding initiatives, the Community Cash Awards provide EKC members, as well as the community, the opportunity to ‘invest in’ and select the award winners.

According to Barb Nunes, EKC Board Member and Chair of the Nominating Committee, “We’re so impressed with the quality of the 20 applications we received through the Elk Valley Community Cash Awards. It’s incredible how many community organizations are contributing to the creation of healthy and sustainable communities. It was difficult to select the finalists and we truly appreciate and thank all of the applicants for their efforts.”

Each of the Community Cash Awards finalists will participate in the next round by setting up information tables to promote their organization and project at EKC’s Elkford, Fernie, and Sparwood branches. The finalists are (in alphabetical order):

#279 Elk Valley Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron Band Program
Cadets, aged 12 to 19, from Fernie, Sparwood, and Elkford. The youth plan to start a pipe and drum band program that will play throughout the Elk Valley.

Elkford Search and Rescue – Avalanche Rescue Plan
A vital resource in Elkford – the Wilderness Capital of Canada – the group needs an emergency survival bag, three avalanche response bags, and team support supplies. The supplies will greatly improve rescue response time.

Elkford Youth Soccer Expansion Project

As soccer continues to grow, the 180 youth, ages 4 to 18, need upgraded equipment. This will include goal posts, corner flags and benches. At the end of phase 2, Elkford will be able to host tournaments.

Fernie Nordic Society Wax and First Aid Hut

With over 700 members the group needs a hut to store first aid equipment, waxing supplies, benches, and rental skis for the Skill Development Program for 80 youth.

Fernie’s Wildsight Elk Valley Apple Capture and Tool Share Program
The Apple Capture Program is to support more harvesting of fruit, with less fruit becoming an attractant to wildlife. The Tool Share includes equipment needed to preserve your fruit. Still needed are a new apple press, grinder and apple picker.

Sparwood Lions Gazebo
Additional covered space is planned next to the Water Spray Park and close to the playground, multi-purpose field, tennis courts and Skateboard Park. Shade and shelter would make the area more desirable for events like picnics, weddings, and family gatherings.

Sparwood Skateboard Park
The Skateboard Park will be a safe place for self-directed free fun. It will attract people of all ages and abilities. Youth indicated this is a top youth priority. Those interested can use skateboards, BMX bikes, in-line skates and scooters.

After showcasing their projects, all the finalists will be invited to set up displays to promote their initiative at EKC’s Annual General Meeting taking place in Fernie on Friday, April 21, at the Best Western Plus Fernie Mountain Lodge. Investing will start at 6 p.m. with the meeting starting at 7 p.m. Guests are encouraged to stay for the presentation of the winner around 8pm.

At the AGM, members, non-members, and youth will receive EKC Community Cash to ‘invest’ with one or more of the community groups of their choice. Elk Valley members will receive $40, Cranbrook members will receive $50, non-members will receive $20, and all youth (18 and under) will receive $10.

Each of the groups will receive $500 for attending the AGM as well as the real cash equivalent to the Community Cash they accumulate throughout the event. The group who receives the most Community Cash will also receive an additional $500 in funding.

CEO Jody Burk adds, “We’re excited that this process provides a fun and inclusive way to involve both EKC members as well as local youth and the community in selecting the Community Cash Awards recipients.”

During the meeting portion of the event a children’s movie will be shown in another room. Popcorn and limited supervision will be provided. Additional supervision by parents and or caregivers may be required. After the meeting, all guests are invited back for the announcement of the winner of the Community Cash Awards.

It’s important to note that members, non-members, supporters and youth who wish to participate in investing ‘Community Cash’ must RSVP that they will attend the AGM by April 12 to Pam Pinch (info below).

For more information on the Community Cash Awards click here.

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