Local non-profit groups and organizations receive thousands of dollars each year to help fund activities, programs, and events that support or enhance the well being of kids.
The Winnipeg Foundation’s Moffat Fund doles out the money to 12 communities outside of Winnipeg, of which Fort Frances is a recipient and landed roughly $93,000 this year,
Since Mayor June Caul started serving on council in 2014 she said they have usually received around $60,000 to distribute to local groups, but this year, they received significantly more.
The brand-new Rainy Lake Gymnastics Academy was among those which received the highest amounts of funding at Monday night’s council meeting where the Moffat Fund cheques were dispersed.
The group received $15,000 and will be starting up in the fall.
“This is something new that we haven’t had for a long time,” said Mayor Caul. “We are very happy to help in getting this group started.
“We had one years ago and we’ve got some very ambitious and wonderful young ladies who have requested funds to assist with equipment as this group establishes the local gymnastics program in 2019,” she added.
The Fun in the Sun (FITS) committee also received $15,000 and the funds will go towards organizing their annual Canada Day activities at Point Park and putting on the fireworks display.
Their goal is to make the festivities affordable for all to participate in, regardless of their financial situation, so no one is deterred from celebrating.
FITS committee member Cynthia Donald said they are inviting town council to come down to Point Park on Canada Day and she’s also encouraging locals to show their Canadian pride.
“Don’t be afraid citizens of Canada . . . to put up a flag,” she urged.
Donald said Fort Frances is very reserved when it comes to expressing patriotism compared to its neighbours down south and should take the initiative to promote Canada’s flag.
Meanwhile, the Northwestern Health Unit’s “Nutrition on Weekends” program landed $11,000 in funding.
The program provides healthy food for families and youth who may not have access to enough food at home on the weekends.
Kiwanis Sunny Cove Camp applied to the Moffat Fund to get extra money for the installation of playground equipment which was purchased last year. They received $8,000.
“The goal is to improve the children’s physical activity while at camp by giving other options for physical play,” Mayor Caul noted.
The 908 Rainy Lake Cadet Squadron collected $7,850 from the Moffat Fund to help cover the costs associated with renting an appropriate weekly meeting place and the activities they host.
The Kenora Rainy River District Child and Family Services was the recipient of $6,000 that will be used towards training a Lego skills development facilitator.
“The Lego social skills development program offers an innovative group based social skills development program using the Lego system,” Mayor Caul remarked.
“Lego play has been proven to be an effective way for children with social difficulties associated with autism, Asperger syndrome, anxiety, depression, ADHD, or adjustment disorders to improve their social interaction and communication skills.”
Meanwhile, Confederation College’s summer youth camp received $5,000 to assist in hosting their programs
Friends of Kids Sport was given $4,500 to assist them in supporting less fortunate youth so they can get involved in sports.
The Rainy River District Community Policing Committee that organizes the annual “Trunk or Treat” event for Halloween received $3,000 that will help to cover costs.
“I’ve been quite involved in the ‘Truck or Treat’ for the last few years and I know that it’s great to know that your children are safe out there,” Mayor Caul noted.
The Festival of the Performing Arts which promotes music and drama for youth, landed $3,000 as well.
“The festival is requesting funding to defer festival fees for disadvantaged families and assist them in other aspects such as purchasing music books, the funding for arts camp, and . . . funding to also extend the indigenous component of the festival,” Mayor Caul explained.
As well, the funds will be used to purchase program certificates, trophies, and medallions for participants.
St. Mary’s Parish received $3,000 that will go towards their “Discovery Camp” that’s for youth.
Fort Frances Kidsport was given $2,500 to help cover the registration costs and sports equipment costs for low-income children.
Community Living Fort Frances and District received $2,200 to help build on the successes of their 2017 and 2018 Open Air Art Studio.
This year will feature eight-10 sessions of mostly outdoor art workshops in a group setting.
The sessions will encourage participants to make connections with other community members as well as to explore their creativity,” Mayor June Caul remarked.
“The sessions are free of charge and accessible to all ages and abilities.”
Meanwhile, the Fort Frances Community Garden and Kids’ Club, which offers weekly volunteer driven programming to engage kids with gardening, was given $2,200.
Borderland Pride, which hosted the Pride Week activities earlier this month, received $2,000 to assist in their annual festivities.
“The aim is to work with community partners, public service providers and local businesses to promote diversity and inclusion for young people and families of all sexual orientations and gender identities,” Mayor Caul explained.
Friends of the Fort Frances Public Library landed $2,000 that help fund the “Community Conversation” project that is in partnership with the Friends of the Library and Substance Abuse Prevention Team.
“It is an initiative designed to spark dialogue and action in our community in order to prevent substance abuse in teens and youth,” Mayor Caul noted.
The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Diagnosis Community Partners of the Rainy River District received $1,000 to organize and offer a caregiver retreat for parents and caregivers of individuals effected by fetal alcohol syndrome.
Mayor Caul thanked all the groups and organizations who were recipients of the Moffat Fund money, noting that if it wasn’t for them children wouldn’t have nearly as many positive experiences in town.