Gratitude will be the theme at Marine Peace Park come Saturday, June 4.
Shuswap Community Foundation is hosting A Gathering of Gratitude that will celebrate the donors and the organizations and individuals who have received financial support through the foundation.
“We decided some time ago we would look for what’s called a signature event,” said Kris Jensen, a board member and chair of the committee organizing the gathering.
The core idea is to get donors and recipients together, but it’s also a chance to raise the visibility of the foundation, he said. As a poster announcing the event describes it: “A celebration of the donors and organizations that improve life in the Shuswap for all.”
The organizations who have received grants through the foundation have been invited to set up booths where they can showcase their work – Jensen said the committee is delighted 17 have agreed so far.
To add to the celebratory atmosphere, there will be live entertainment, refreshments and a children’s area with games and activities. Several people have been invited to speak, including mayors of municipalities and First Nations chiefs in the region.
As it turns out, the Shuswap Family Centre will also be holding a fun event that day in its parking lot, not far from Marine Park. It will be a family connection day, said Patti Thurston, executive director. Everyone is welcome and everybody counts as a family, she added.
Both the Shuswap Family Centre event and the Shuswap Community Foundation event will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Regarding the foundation, Jensen said in excess of 190 funds have been created, some of them donating more than $100,000 over the years. He said a fund might be in one person’s name, but many people may have donated to it.
“One of the things I like to tell people – last year we gave out in excess of half a million dollars,” he said.
In addition to the funds created, organizations like the Vancouver Foundation will give monies to the Shuswap Community Foundation to administer.
For instance, the foundation was given emergency response grants to administer, so money was given to the Red Cross in both Merritt and Princeton in response to flooding.
For local organizations and individuals, two cycles of grants are given out each year, fall and spring. People fill out an application, a committee reviews it to determine if the individual or organization is eligible and how much they will receive.
“Mostly people who make applications get what they want or something reasonable under the circumstances,” Jensen said.
To learn more about grants, go to the Shuswap Community Foundation website.
Jensen added he loves the foundation’s motto: Connecting people who care with causes that matter.
“To me that’s perfect. It absolutely fits what we do.”
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