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Posted: December 8, 2020

EKC celebrating 70th anniversary Dec. 14

East Kootenay Community Credit Union’s (EKC) 70th anniversary celebration plans have changed; we all know why!

Instead of cancelling, EKC’s leadership team and Board of Directors looked forward and saw opportunities.

An opportunity was also seen in 1950 when a resident could not find help from the banks to build a home. Ten men wanted to help the community and their families. They dug into their own pockets and financed the home. The arrangement was finalized with $100 each deposited into a coffee tin, and Cranbrook Savings Credit Union (CSCU) was established on December 14, 1950.

Today, just like in 1950, EKC made the bold move to give back more to members and the communities it serves.

EKC’s Board of Directors has just announced an additional $45,000 to build and serve the community at a time when help is needed.

  • $15,000 donation for the Foundry East Kootenay supported by East Kootenay Foundation for Health and Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services.
  • $15,000 donation for KEYSA’s Multi-Sport Indoor Facility.
  • $15,000 donation for Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies to support Cranbrook’s Salvation Army food program.
Jose Galdamez, EKC Director, with Brenna Baker EKFH and Colin Sinclair KKCFSS.

As one of the Starlite campaign’s original donors, EKC has learned first-hand from the membership the need to improve local health care services.

East Kootenay Foundation for Health (EKFH), in partnership with Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services Society (KKCFSS) has launched the 2020 Starlite Campaign – Not Alone. It is one of EKFH’s most important projects to date.

Everyone knows somebody who has been touched by mental illness or substance use in our youth. Mental health concerns and substance use can affect any person from any background. It does not discriminate.

The local crisis will escalate with COVID 19, and the Foundry will change that!

“On behalf of the EKFH board and staff we would like to say how proud we are to partner with the Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services for Foundry East Kootenay. We believe that this is one of our most important campaigns to date. Everyone knows someone who has lost a youth to suicide or substance use. Foundry is a safe place where youth can walk in and get the help they need immediately. No filling out numerous forms only to be told they will go on a waitlist for months. Foundry will save lives! Thank you to the East Kootenay Community Credit Union for your wonderful donation! It brings us that much closer to reaching our goal of $1.4 million!” stated Brenna Baker.

Colin Sinclair added, “Foundry is about connection and support. The community will build the local Foundry for itself. Our local youth need support close to home, and everyone who knows a youth who has struggled recognizes how vitally important local services are. The effects of mental illness on youth continue to be of concern. 75% of mental illness begins before age 25. A local Foundry Centre will highlight existing local services for youth and their families, and make them far more accessible.”

Jose Galdamez, EKC board, with Lisa Barnes from CFKR

The Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies (CFKR) EKC Fund started in 2004 to support local Salvation Army food programs. Jean-Ann Debreceni, current EKC Board Chair, played a key role in establishing this fund. EKC’s initial donation of $10,000 plus today’s announcement of an additional $15,000 has grown this permanently invested fund to over $130,000. In 2021, the fund will give back over $2,500, and in 2022 and beyond, the annual grant will grow to over $3,000.

Michele Bates, CFKR Board Chair commented, “The Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies sincerely appreciate EKC’s vision and foresight in establishing this endowment fund.

“By starting this fund and continuing to contribute to its growth, EKC has also inspired other community members to contribute to this cause through the annual Hometown For Hunger events at Denham Ford as well as a major gift from an anonymous community donor late last year.”

EKC has supported Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association (KEYSA) since its inception. Donations from EKC since 2011 totalled $13,000, including jerseys and Sam Steele Soccer Tournament funding. EKC has donated an additional $15,000 to support KEYSA’s leadership role for a multi-sport indoor facility. EKC total donations to KEYSA are over $28,000!

Mike Robinson and Rob McKenzie with KEYSA and Jose Galdamez EKC Director

“On behalf of KEYSA and our project partners, we appreciate how our community has come together to support Cranbrook’s new multi-sport indoor facility. The project set out to improve access to indoor recreation, both in diversifying opportunity and proximity. EKC’s support exemplifies this theme perfectly by ensuring people with all mobility levels, from strollers to walkers, will have easy access to our facility,” states Mike Robinson.

Like in 1950, EKC’s Board of Directors believes there is a better way to bank. As a local, strong credit union, EKC is here for their members and their communities. In the last month, EKC has announced money back to members in the way of patronage rewards, dividends of $205,800 plus donations of $62,500. The board looks forward to announcing its $50,000 Legacy Donation Campaign in 2021.

Lead image: Left to right back tow: Brenna Baker, East Kootenay Foundation for Health (EKFH), Colin Sinclair, Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services Society (KKCFSS), Lisa Barnes, Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies (CFKR). Front Row: Mike Robinson, Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association (KEYSA), Rob McKenzie, (KEYSA). Photos submitted

East Kootenay Community Credit Union

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