April represents fresh beginnings and new growth. Our winter has stretched longer than a traditional season and many of us are excited with the early signs of spring, trees budding and the soil warming up for planting of seeds.
The image above creates a nice visual on how the creation of an endowment fund with the Foundation is similar to planting a seed. A seed that with careful tending will grow into something for today and for future generations to benefit from. The fruit of the fund is invested into the region as effective grants to charitable organizations who are the heart of the community, increasing the vitality of our region.
An old Chinese proverb says: “One generation plants the trees…another gets the shade.”
Giving back to the communites where we live and work is very important. Thank you to the many of who have planted a seed with a donation to an endowment fund.
We are proud of the scope and reach of our work. We could not do this without a strong staff and volunteer team. Our office has a team of three dedicated staff who work side by side with over 60 volunteers. Thank you to the many who dedicate countless hours, plus share their skill and knowledge to help our Foundation reach our goals.
Tracey Vavrek, CEO; Tracy Zuk, Development Coordinator; Rhonda Reichert, Executive Assistant
In the theme of spring I encourage you to take time for a walk, welcome the longer days, and remember we are all an important part of our communites.
Connect people. Build community. For good, and forever.
Tracey Vavrek, CEO
WORONUK LEGACY FUND
The Woronuk family is dedicated to community. As lifelong residents and pioneers of the Rycroft area they understand that giving back is essential to building a strong community.
With the Woronuk family homesteading their farm in 1913, Bryan and Sherry are part of an impressive legacy of hard work, determination and dedication to community. To recognize their family’s contributions and continue their legacy of giving back in the Rycroft and Sprit River area, Bryan and Sherry established the Woronuk Legacy Fund in 2013.
Each year the Woronuk Legacy Fund, held at the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta, supports deserving post-secondary students along with projects and programs in the Central Peace area and throughout our region. Seeing the impact of their family Fund firsthand is an amazing inspiration to the Woronuk Family and the impact only continues to grow.
Bryan and Sherry explained, “Being involved in the process of giving back through our family fund is great and completely uplifting. It is wonderful to be a part of the giving process from our fun each year. It gives us so much hope that we will truly make a difference in people’s lives for the future.
We look forward to being a part of supporting people and programs in our community for years to come.”
Giving back through the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta builds stronger communities across our region, today and forever. Whether it is a one-time contribution, giving to a specific cause you care about or establishing an endowment fund in your family’s name, giving back through the Community Foundation is forever.
Community Impact Grants
Experience Fun Experience Fitness: Encouraging Activity & Belonging in Local Youth
We define belonging simply as being part of a collective we. A sense of belonging is important to build safe, resilient, vibrant communities and it brings purpose to our lives.
Our 2017 Northwestern Alberta Vital Signs report identified two key issues facing the communities in our region.
- 1. One of the barriers to recreation participation is that our citizens are unaware of some of the opportunities.
- 2. Only half our community feel “somewhat” connected to our community.
Research shows that sports and recreation activities play a significant role in strengthening communities and fostering a sense of belonging. Canadians also place a significant value on the role of sports in the lives of youth.
It is clear, however, that barriers to participating in sports still exist for many youths including cost, accessibility, lack of information about the programs available, the perception that organized sports are not safe or welcoming, and the lack of confidence in their ability.
Experience Fun Experience Fitness was created with the intention to connect youth with the state of the art facilities that we have available in our region, to promote healthy activity, and to encourage belonging. The program allows kids, ages 11-14 to visit the Eastlink Centre to experience a variety of organized activities that they normally would not have had the chance to participate in.
Many of our local youth discovered new activities, socialized with peers, and gained confidence through Experience Fun Experience Fitness. In 2018 the Eastlink Centre hosted the program over 5 days through Easter Break. The feedback from the participants and parents has been phenomenal with many families requesting to come back again next year.
Your Community Foundation has intimate knowledge of local priorities which we use to build stronger communities. Our annual Nourish the North Wine & Auction event allows us to develop much-needed programs that serve the community. Guests at this year’s event will again have the chance to pledge donations of $50 to our Philanthropy Wall, proceeds of which go to facilitating Experience Fun Experience Fitness on a larger scale.
Regional Community Foundation Funds
partnering with community throughout the region
Imagine opening your cupboard and only seeing a box of pasta with a jar of sauce? Imagine riding a bus to school and only having a granola bar in your lunch bag. Difficulty in accessing food and healthy options is a reality for many in our region.
As reported in the 2017 Northwestern Alberta’s Vital Signs food banks throughout Northwestern Alberta continue to respond to the increased needs from local families, seniors, and newcomers.
“As a single mom with only one income, I cannot tell you how much it means to me to have this support,” says Sexsmith resident.
Committed to making our communities stronger, the Community Foundation continues to invest grant funding into the region with the intent of easing the stress for all. We do this as a result of caring people who recognize the power of working together in support of local challenges.
Volunteers from Sexsmith and area, West County communities, plus Peace River and the surrounding region have come together to create a Regional Community Foundation in support of the communities they call home. These passionate members bring knowledge to the table and have a pulse on their communities. The Foundation’s set up as an endowment fund where donations of all sizes are pooled together in perpetuity and dedicated to ongoing funding support for charitable causes in the region.
“The partnership with the Community Foundation has helped people in the Sexsmith area give back in an easy, flexible and effective manner. As a result of the donations and support of local people, we are able to offer support to our local food bank, library and so many worthy needs. Thank you to the community foundation team for the support and leadership, you make our role easy.” said Aaron Anderson, the Foundation’s co-chair of the Sexsmith and District Community Foundation.
Interested in learning more about the following Regional Community Funds, contact our office at (780) 538-2820:
North Peace Community Foundation – Serving Peace River and the surrounding communities.
Sexsmith Community Foundation – Serving Sexsmith and the surrounding communities.
West County Community Foundation – Serving communities in Beaverlodge, Elmsworth, Hythe, Wembley and area.
Annual General Meeting
May 3, 2018 – Open Door Cafe
May 23, 2018 – Annual General Meeting
August 24, 2018 – Sexsmith Community Foundation Golf Tourney
September 27, 2018 – Nourish the North
For more information on these events, please contact the Foundation Office at 780.538.2820.