Crime Stoppers big winner from Moffat Fund

The Fort Frances board of Crime Stoppers received the largest portion of the Moffat Family Fund this year, getting $15,000 to be used for playground equipment at local parks.
Crime Stoppers chairperson Laurie Mauro and board member Murray Alexander were on hand at Monday night’s council meeting to formally receive the cheque.
“I think everyone here knows we’ve already begun fundraising for rebuilding the parks around town,” noted Mauro.
“I believe we’ve begun with Phair Avenue, and then we’re going to do Front Street and Sixth Street, if we raise enough money. And this is a great start,” she added.
“It’s going to go a long way to helping us get that playground equipment,” agreed Fort Frances OPP Cst. Caroline Spencer, who sits on the local Crime Stoppers board and first brought the playground equipment initiative forward to the group.
Cst. Spencer noted the $15,000 brings the project’s fundraising total near $36,000, with other funds having already been donated—or raised—by MacDonald Motors, CIBC, CN, and Canada Safeway.
The town also had been asked to include some funding in its 2005 budget for playground equipment, or at least the installation costs.
Cst. Spencer said Crime Stoppers has gotten cost estimates for equipment at the parks, noting it would cost about $23,000 for playground equipment (a play structure and a swing set) at the Phair Avenue park.
But this cost does not include materials like sand, fill, and pressure-treated lumber, nor installation costs.
A total of $50,000 was divided up between 12 local recipients Monday night as the town disbursed money from the Moffat Family Fund on behalf of the Winnipeg Foundation.
The other recipients included:
•The Salvation Army—$10,000;
•Navy League (sponsor of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps)—$4,500;
•United Native Friendship Centre—$3,000;
•908 Rainy Lake Air Cadet Squadron—$2,500;
•Sister Kennedy Seniors Centre—$2,500;
•Eighth Street Trail Volunteers—$2,500;
•Bethel Baptist Church (Awana Kids Club)—$2,500;
•Beta Sigma Phi (Alpha Upsilon chapter)—$2,500 for a wheelchair-accessible glider swing;
•J.W. Walker School Council—$2,000 for playground equipment and trees;
•Fort Frances Meals on Wheels—$1,500; and
•Rendezvous Yacht Club—$1,500 for youth sailing camp.
The cheques were handed out by Mayor Dan Onichuk and Linda Hamilton, who chairs the local Moffat Family Fund committee.
“I’d like to thank the Moffat Foundation. This is one of the very few times you get a bucket of money to give away,” said Hamilton. “It’s fabulous.”
She noted the requests from applicants this year totalled more than $350,000. But since the local committee only had $50,000 to give away, it had to make some tough choices.
“It’s a bit challenging,” said Hamilton. “But I think we did a good job.”
Hamilton added the committee, which consists of members from various groups and sectors of the population, makes an effort to see the funds spread among different recipients over the years.
“This year, we had a plethora of people wanting to fix and do parks. I guess that says that’s one thing we need to give to our children,” she remarked.
Hamilton said unsuccessful applicants should try again next year, and gave a a little advice: try to keep it simple and pick a specific project.
Mayor Onichuk noted all the applicants to the Moffat Family Fund showed just how much volunteerism goes on in Fort Frances, adding the volunteers should be applauded for their work in the community,
“Without them, not even the applications [for the Moffat Family Fund] would go in,” he remarked.
Back in 2002, the Moffat family entrusted $100 million to the Winnipeg Foundation, which, in turn, is responsible for investing the money and distributing it to communities in need.
After learning of this, Fort Frances applied for—and was chosen to be—one of these recipient communities. That first year, the town was allocated $33,000 to divvy up.
Year after year, the town—along with other communities once served by the Moffat family’s cable television business—is eligible to receive some of the interest from that $100-million investment.
Fort Frances is among 12 communities that was being allocated funds to distribute to worthwhile causes this year.

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