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Posted: May 1, 2019

EKC announces Community Cash Award recipients

Members and guests joined East Kootenay Community Credit Union (EKC) for the financial institution’s 69th Annual General Meeting, April 30.

Jean-Ann Debreceni, Chair of the Board of Directors, welcomed the crowd of 75 members and guests.

Fernie Pets Society – awarded $1,054. Funds will be used to provide fencing for the established dog park which will increase the safety of the animals and people that utilize the park and surrounding areas.

The acclaimed Directors were Lynnette Wray and Jose Galdamez. George Freitag was welcomed back to the Board.  All Board members including Jean-Ann Debreceni, Barb Nunes, Russell Pask, Don Holt, Diane Byford were thanked for their time and commitment.

At the meeting it was announced the results of the member vote on the Special Resolution has passed. The special resolution included approval of electronic voting and some cleanup of language.

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, the Community Cash Awards provided EKC members, and the community, the opportunity to ‘invest in’ and select the award winners.

Since 2016, when the Community Cash Awards were first announced, EKC has now returned $30,687 to the community groups.

According to Lynnette Wray, EKC Board Member, “We received 12 very strong applications 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 were thrilled to announce EKC gave out $8,183 in total.

Fernie Family Community Garden by The Holy Family Church – awarded $1,103. Funds will be used to increase the accessibility and inclusiveness of the Community Garden for all demographics in the community and support physical health and well being with the connection to nature.

“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 in the Elk Valley.”

The Community Cash Awards finalists set up information tables to promote their organization and project at EKC’s AGM. Members and guests voted with their EKC Community Cash dollars.

Sparwood Farmer’s Market Society – awarded $1,133. Funds will be used to increase sustainability and engagement of the market as well as provide a venue and growth opportunity for local businesses to contribute to the local economy.

Each of the groups received $100 from Kootenay Insurance Services (KIS), $500 for attending the AGM as well as the real cash equivalent to the Community Cash they accumulate throughout the event. The group that receives the most Community Cash will also receive an additional $500 in funding.

Sandy Thor-Larsen, Senior Manager, Finance Technology & Administration for Kootenay Insurance Services (KIS) and Amanda Booker, Personal Lines Agent in Sparwood for KIS, an EKC subsidiary supported the event.

Elkford Early Years – awarded $1,185. Funds will be used to purchase equipment and items for activities in the new summer outdoor program for children in the Elkford area.

Thor- Larsen said, “As a member of the credit union family, KIS is committed to our communities. We are happy to contribute an additional $100 to each group. We have been welcomed by the communities in our KIS Sparwood office. We look forward to continuing to support families and businesses in the Elk Valley with their insurance needs.”

Elkford Arts Council – awarded $1,345. Funds will be used to install a publicly accessible community art display “Pass in the Clouds”. This piece will engage and involve the community, fostering a connection between neighbours in a shared history and occupation of space that is shared in the valley.

CEO Jody Burk added, “We’re excited that this process provides a fun and inclusive way to involve both EKC members as well as local youth and the community in selecting the Community Cash Awards recipients.”

For more information on the Community Cash Awards.

Lead image: $2,363 was awarded to the Frank J. Mitchell Elementary School PAC, Community Cash Award Winner. Funds will be used to increase the amount of playground equipment for both the children of the school and non-school aged children in the community to be used year-round. Photos submitted

East Kootenay Community Credit Union

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