Through generous donations and the commitment of Fernie community members, a permanent endowment fund benefiting Fernie and area will launch this November.
The Fernie Community Fund, invested through a partnership with the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation (CDCF), will help ensure a secure and sustainable source of funding is available through annual grants to charitable organizations, initiatives, and programs within the Fernie community.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Fernie community on the establishment, growth, and management of this fund,” says Wayne Eburne, President of the CDCF. “And although the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation will administer the fund, it will be Fernie residents who have the power to grow it, choose outcomes, address community issues, and develop new opportunities based on their intimate knowledge of who they are and what they strive to be.”
The Fernie Community Fund fundraising campaign has kicked-off with a $10,000 donation from the East Kootenay Community Credit Union (EKC).
Eric Johnstone, Regional Branch Manager of the Elk Valley states, “The EKC is committed to supporting local initiatives that enhance the health and vitality of our communities. We are proud to make the initial contribution to the Fernie Community Fund, which shares many of our values — we both take a broad and inclusive view of what a community is and contribute financially to the widest possible range of organizations and initiatives, building a vehicle for long-term increasing participation in the community.”
The Fernie Community Fund is governed by a local committee comprised of volunteers: Tammy Ogden, community liaison with Teck Coal Limited, Eric Johnstone, and community advocates and leaders Randal Macnair and Aysha Haines. Fernie residents interested in joining the committee are encouraged to contact Riley Wilcox, executive director of the CDCF at 250-426-1119.
“We are confident a Fernie Community Fund will have a lasting, wide-spread and increasing impact for the people in Fernie,” says Haines. “Any donation made locally, stays locally. There will be a committed and ongoing effort from the local Fernie Community Fund governance committee to continue to grow the fund so we can maximize the return to our community.”
The Fernie Community Fund serves Fernie and the surrounding geographical area of Morrissey, Fernie Alpine Resort, West Fernie, Dicken Road, and Hosmer. The fund is held in perpetuity, which means the fund’s ability to support local non-profits is not only secure and permanent, but will grow stronger every year. Annual grants will be allocated by the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation (CDCF) Board of Directors on the recommendation of a granting committee comprised of Fernie community members, ensuring grants are distributed based on the evolving, specific, and unique needs and wants of Fernie residents.