By Cheryl Thomas in collaboration with the Star/Journal
Approximately 10 years ago the North Thompson Communities Foundation (NTCF) was conceived and began its service to the North Thompson Valley communities.
At that time, the North Thompson Valley was host to several large logging companies. In those days Weyerhaeuser was a large forestry company in the area, however, for whatever bottom line reason, it decided to leave the valley.
A few community minded people approached the management and suggested a legacy for the community. They suggested that a foundation be created and invited the company to be a part of this. The company believed in this concept; and they offered a $50,000.00 legacy to get the foundation started.
This money was invested with the Vancouver Foundation as there was an opportunity to ‘double our money’ to $100,000 as they were offering ‘matching funds’ to any new investments. Thus began the investment strategy of the NTCF.
Here it is, approximately 10 years later, and the Foundation has grown.
“We are grateful to our dedicated monthly donors”, stated foundation chair, Cheryl Thomas. “We are thankful to families who have left legacies in their wills; given at fund-raising events and to those who seek us out to offer their help. We have since invested funds in our local Credit Union, opening ‘envelopes’ to support such topics as the environment, youth and the arts.”
The years have also seen the foundation ‘invest in’ or ‘give back’ over $40,000 from interest gathered on the invested funds, to the various groups in the North Thompson Valley communities.
The NTCF has supported everything from the development of community groups to hall restorations. They’ve been aware that they are responsible to the entire valley and have done their best to honour that responsibility by ensuring that groups in all communities are treated with equality when it comes to distribution during the yearly spring granting cycle. Recent grants have gone to a wide variety of groups, including Rotary Club of Clearwater, North Thompson Volunteer and Information Centre, Wells Gray Outdoor Club, Yellowhead Community Services, Little Fort Recreation Society, Vavenby Elementary School, and many others.
The foundation has even put on grant writing workshops, to help community groups in their efforts to receive grants. Once a year they put out a call for grant applications; the next granting cycle will be coming up this spring (in 2014).
The foundation is a member of the Community Foundation of Canada and is one of 51 foundations located in B.C. They are comprised of community volunteers from the North Thompson valley, from McLure to Blue River. Currently, our board members are:
Cheryl Thomas, chair;
Robert Hearn, vice chair;
Susan Garland, secretary;
Hazel Wadlegger, treasurer;
and directors Barry Banford, Celena Slater, Kevin Bryant, Gina Walchuk, Mike Fennell, and Ted Richardson.
They openly welcome those who feel they have something to contribute, and would especially encourage representation from Little Fort and areas north of Clearwater.
Do watch this paper for future articles about the NTCF. If you believe in foundations, you might want to be involved at committee or board level. If you would like to become a contributor, please go to the web site: ntcommunitiesfoundation.com, or leave a message for Cheryl at 250-674-3260.