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Posted: April 26, 2016

Community Cash Award winners announced

Members and guests joined East Kootenay Community Credit Union (EKC) for the financial institution’s Annual General Meeting April 22 at the Heritage Inn.

Jean-Anne Debreceni, Chair of the Board of Directors welcomed the crowd of over 110 members and guests. The acclaimed Directors, Don Holt, Lynne Shewchuk, George Freitag, Mark Spittael, Jose Galdamez, Barb Nunes, Diane Byford and Russell Pask were thanked for their time and commitment.

CEO Jody Burk spoke of the balanced approach EKC takes to measure their success and challenges. Challenges include the local economy, low financial margin, environmental and regulator pressure.

Highlights of 2015 successes included a very good year financially, significant growth in the member loyalty measurement and significant subsidiary contribution. He specifically said, “The dedication to EKC’s success by staff and Directors was invaluable.” He went on to say, “Small independent credit unions have many challenges and obstacles to face. EKC continually finds innovative ways to compete, with partnerships, sharing specific expertise and prioritizing members’ needs. The continued efforts by staff and Directors allows EKC to deliver the excellent services to its members and community.”

The Community Cash Awards, which aimed to develop healthy and diverse communities, offered local community groups an opportunity to apply for funding. Unlike other funding initiatives however, the Community Cash Awards provided EKC members, and the community, the opportunity to ‘invest in’ and select the award winners.

According to Diane Byford, Chair of the Nominating Committee, “We received 17 applications in total and made the difficult decisions narrowing that list down to the six finalists. Everyone who participated in our AGM had the chance to invest EKC’s Community Cash. We are thrilled to announce EKC has given out $7,013 in total. All groups are winners, and we truly want to congratulate all of our finalists who did an incredible job raising awareness about the important work they do within our communities.”

Cranbrook and District Search and Rescue Society (pictured above) had the most Community Cash. They received $850 Community Cash dollars from guests, $500 for attending and a bonus of $500 for having the most Community Cash. Cranbrook and District Search and Rescue Society received $1,850 from EKC!

In addition to Cranbrook and District Search and Rescue Society, the other five finalists’ donations were:

– $1,020 to the Cranbrook Food Action Committee for the launch of their “Dig It Delights’ social enterprise to fund local food security initiatives, by purchasing a commercial food scale and providing food safety training for the local production and sale of healthy dips, spreads and salad dressings.

– $990 to the Elk Valley Seniors Housing Society for the Finishing Touches project which will include the completion of landscaping, such as a ‘contemplation garden,’ at the Lilac Terrace Senior Housing expansion initiative.

– $1,000 to Kimberley Alpine Team to purchase a start gate for ski cross racing to increase physical activity, provide a lower cost option to ski racing for youth and provide current members with further ski racing and athletic training options.

– $1,211 to Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association to assist with the cost of officials for their annual KEYSA Sam Steele Days Youth Soccer Tournament which hosts over 60 teams contributing to healthy lifestyles and showcasing the community.

– $942 to Rockies Rowing Club to enable fitness and health in the community by expanding their program for local youth through the purchase of new equipment including boats, life jackets, oars and a trailer.

“The Community Cash Awards have been an inclusive and fun way to involve EKC members, local citizens and youth in selecting the Community Cash Award recipients. Based on the excellent feedback of the members and public who attended our AGM, as well as the community groups who participated, we can’t wait to bring this awards program back again next year in the Elk Valley,” Byford said.

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