Phoenix Foundation hosts community social

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
November 1st, 2010

Grants from the local area foundation have helped build the communities of the Boundary since 1997. This year the Phoenix Foundation of the Boundary Communities was able to grant about $15,000 across the region aiding local organizations to create change.   At their annual community social, recently held in Greenwood, two of the grant recipients gave an overview of their projects. Heather Buzzell, director of the Grand Forks and District Public Library, gave a humorous presentation about the development of a place for youth in their library. Buzzell outlined the transformation of a corner with a broken down recliner, usually visited by the elderly taking a nap, to a bright area with funky furniture frequented by teens.   Greenwood resident Darla Ashton also talked about the amazing transformation still in progress at the Greenwood pool. The funds to assist in the pool rebuilding project were provided to the group through the Greenwood Improvement Society (GIS) that has a fund held with the Phoenix Foundation, as well as the general community funds from the foundation itself. Annually the GIS calls for projects in their community and reviews the proposals to award the funds to be the most beneficial.   President Maxine Ruzicka awarded two honorary director certificates to outgoing board member Denny Kemprud and past board member Annie Holtby who was a founding member of the Foundation.   “It was an honour to work with each and everyone on the board, to work with groups who had vision, and care for the respective needs and projects and to share in the goal to make a difference in the communities. But the fact that they were the same communities that I got to work with in my separate college role all those years doubled the significance for me. Time spent with Phoenix strategies and projects was a gift, a blessing and a great opportunity to serve. Thank you so much for this honour,” responded Holtby by email.   The annual social welcomes everyone to come out and hear about the work of the Foundation. Presentations from the Foundation’s president, treasurer, grants committee chair and fund development chair give community members a chance to ask questions about the way the Foundation operates and how they are funded.   “Because of the economic situation, in 2009 / 2010 there was a decision to hold back grants for future investments. The current assets have essentially recovered so the board’s decision certainly paid off,” explained Mona Mattei, executive director for the Foundation who provided the treasurer’s report on behalf of Director Val Kelly. “We’d like to recognize the large donations we did receive in the last year from the Grand Forks and District Savings Credit Union, Neaves fund donations, Grand Forks Rotary Club, the Boundary Conservers, and, of course, our many community members – over 2000 individual contributors over the years!” 

The Foundation will be asking for proposals for grants in February of 2011. For more information about the Foundation contact Mona Mattei at 250-443-1899 or visit www.phoenix-foundation.net

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