Anonymous donors and other benefactors are being credited with helping to sustain ongoing development of Shuswap trails.
The Shuswap Trail Alliance (STA) receives support from the communities it serves annually, including through its dance party fundraising event which, for 2021, was replaced with the Deep Winter Lockdown online silent auction.
Through the pandemic, however, the STA has been pleasantly surprised to receive support from other sources, including several large donations from an anonymous benefactor through Canada Gives.
“We respect the privacy of the anonymous donor”, says STA executive director Jen Bellhouse, “But if you’re reading this, we do want the donor to know how much these donations mean to us and how incredibly grateful we are.”
Shuswap residents may have noticed a pair of trucks in town displaying the STA’s logo along with that of Ian Gray’s Salmon Arm GM. The local dealership has been providing trucks for the trail alliance’s use since early 2020. Used by the STA’s maintenance crews, the vehicles allow them to do their work while abiding by pandemic restrictions, including the number of individuals that can be in one truck at the same time.
Local businesses participated in matching donation programs that supported the STA. Salmon Arm Investors Group Financial Services staff donated funds that were matched by national Investors Group Financial Services contributions, and Pro Air ran a program earlier in the year where they matched customer donations directed to the trail alliance.
Along with celebrating his store’s 100th anniversary this summer, Shuswap Clothing and Shoe Company owner Gerald Forman chose to donate to the STA. The Barley Station Brewpub continues to support the trail alliance with sales of its Shuswap Trail Ale IPA, donating a portion of proceeds from every ale sold.
“We recognize that 2020 and 2021 have been difficult years for many in the Shuswap” said Bellhouse. “In a time where there doesn’t seem to be a lot of light, we wanted to share our appreciation and gratitude for the folks that are supporting the STA. We have many more sponsors than those mentioned here, and we are grateful for each one of you.”
“Along with a couple of grants, the community support that we have received has us in a very strong place for 2021 and 2022, so from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”
Bellhouse said the contributions allow the Shuswap Trail Alliance to continue working with regional partners throughout the year. The funds are leveraged with matching grants, other donations, in-kind contributions, dedicated community project budgets and the contribution of volunteer time to grow local greenway trails throughout the region.
According to the Shuswap Trail Alliance, it has supported the growth of more than 143 kilometres of new greenway trails throughout the region valued at more than $2.5 million dollars since 2005.
For more information, visit www.shuswaptrails.com, or contact Bellhouse at 250-804-3530, or by email at email@example.com.
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