Local groups pleased with Moffat Funds slice

Every year, local non-profit groups and organizations receive thousands of dollars to fund various programs and activities aimed at supporting the social, economical, physical, and intellectual well-being of children and their families.
This is facilitated through the Winnipeg Foundation’s Moffat Fund, which donates tens of thousands of dollars to 12 communities outside of Winnipeg, of which Fort Frances is one.
This year, the town received $60,000 that was distributed to 17 different groups at last Monday night’s council meeting.
For the past few years, the Moffat Family Fund Steering Committee has tried to give some money to all the eligible groups that apply.
“We try to split it up so we can give a little bit to everybody because they are all such wonderful promotions for children’s well-being,” lauded Coun. June Caul, who sits on the steering committee.
The Fun in the Sun/Canada Day committee was one of the recipients of this year’s Moffat Fund–receiving $10,000, with $3,000 of that earmarked for the annual fireworks display.
The remaining $7,000 was used for organizing Canada Day activities at Point Park, such as log-rolling, contests and games, live entertainment, water sports, and beach volleyball.
FITS committee member Cynthia Donald is thankful to have been selected by the town this year.
She noted that without the Moffat Fund money, their Canada Day events would be much smaller.
“Without [the town], a lot of these things wouldn’t be happening,” Donald stressed. “We’d have to scale it back quite a bit.
“This really helps us out to have a great time, and have as many people down there to enjoy their day by the lake,” she added.
“The whole committee is very appreciative and we hope everybody [has] a good time.”
Community Living Fort Frances and District received a total of $2,700 this year.
Due to popular demand, Community Living will be running weekly open-air art studio sessions on Monday evenings, similar to what was held last year.
“They were really popular so we kind of are just keeping with the momentum,” enthused Faith Moen, the organization’s communications/PR co-ordinator.
“People loved it–they loved bringing their finished products home and learning different techniques depending on what we did each week,” she noted.
“Overall, it was just really positive.”
Last year, Moen recalled seeing at least 40 people out to the class each week.
With every session, a different piece of art was created. At some of the upcoming art sessions, for instance, attendees will learn how to make painted sticks, ribbon wands, bird feeders, and sun catchers.
“After each session, people leave with something they’ve made–they get to leave with their piece and be proud of it,” Moen said.
The sessions are slated to run in various parks throughout the town each Monday from 3-7:00 p.m.
The first session is slated for July 9 at the new Rainy Lake Square, in partnership with Borderland Pride, where attendees will make “Pride” flags and ribbon wands.
Moen would like to remind residents that anyone can access these art sessions.
“It’s open to anybody, people of all ages and abilities,” she stressed. “It’s free to attend and all the supplies are provided.”
“I’m really excited and we’re hoping to see lots of people out,” she added.
The Northwestern Health Unit, meanwhile, will be using the $2,000 it received to fund the “Kids’ Club” and support the general maintenance of the community garden here.
An additional $2,000 also was given to the health unit to promote activities for youth in Fort Frances.
The Fort Frances Youth Project is a new program directed at providing youths with more things to do after school.
“Youth have said to us that Fort Frances is a really big sport town and if you play hockey, that’s fine, but if you don’t play hockey, there is really nothing to do,” Fischer noted.
“Ideally, they are looking for a place they can sort of get together, and we’re limited in Fort Frances so we want to start with some activities and build some momentum,” she explained.
“If we have the interest, then the goal of the committee is to look at a location similar to a youth centre, where youth have their own place and they can help with the programming,” Fischer added.
“It’d be a place co-ordinated by youth for youth,” she noted.
Fischer currently is planning the first event, which will be a “games night” at From The Grind Up next Tuesday (July 10).
She is thankful to have received money and be able to provide more activities for youth locally.
“We are so fortunate to be a recipient of the Moffat Fund,” Fischer enthused. “It really does great things for programs in Fort Frances, for children and youth, and families.
“It really helps with providing local projects and programs because our budget just doesn’t cover stuff like this,” she stressed.
“We hope Moffat continues for years to come. It’s a great boost for our town.”
David Schwartz, with the Rainy River District Festival of the Performing Arts committee, also was happy to receive money from the Moffat Fund, which will help pay the fees and associated costs of next year’s adjudicators.
The Festival received a total of $2,500, which Schwartz said will help immensely in funding the annual event.
“$2,500 will go a long way for us but that certainly is not anywhere near our entire budget for the year,” he noted.
“I like to ask for a reasonable amount,” he added. ‘Just enough to make sure we can make it through without having to dip into our savings too much.”
Schwartz is grateful to the town for arranging for the Moffat Fund money to be dispersed, and would like to thank the steering committee for reading through all the applications.
“It’s a big job and we really appreciate it,” he lauded.
“This really helps us out and keeps these programs going.”