Fifth anniversary for Rivers and Area Foundation


By Sheila Runions

      Banner Staff

Rivers and Area Community Foundation (RACF) held its fifth annual grant evening last Wednesday, Nov. 19. Chairperson Donna Morken announced that RACF has given $68,939.53 since 2010 and this year, 13 groups requested more than $96,000. Twelve of those 13 groups received a total of  $11,020.24. 

Rivers Agricultural Society accepted $1,481.72 which they will use to upgrade the horse riding arena. Clack Family Heritage Museum received $1,000 for a flooring project. Riverdale Community Daycare also received $1,000 which will be used to purchase equipment for the daycare. Riverdale Community Centre will use its $1,000 for the upstairs wall and window project. Rivers Elementary School received $500 to expand its playground’s wooden train; currently an engine is on the grounds. Rivers Minor Hockey Association received another $2,038.52 to outfit more players with new uniforms. Rapid City Parent Group was given $500 for its playground project. Prairie Crocus Regional Library now has $1,500 to help them archive the old pictures etc. they have received over the years. Brandon’s sea cadet corp of 30 youth, including three from Rivers area and one from Rapid City, is planning a trip to the Atlantic conference in Halifax this summer; their $250 grant will offset travel expenses for all cadets. The Westman branch of Canadian Diabetes Association was given $250 for Camp Briardale; Morken later said the children’s camp was supported because of “what it stands for; we have many people who are diabetics in this region.” 

A group with no name was granted $500 for a wellness day they are planning in Rivers on April 11. Dick O’Brien of Ontario has been confirmed as the main speaker; group representative Esther Krahn said more information would be announced in the new year. She accepted the donation on behalf of Rivers Women’s Institute, Healthy Rivers, Rivers and Area Palliative Care, Riverdale District Health Auxiliary, Rivers Collegiate, Rivers Senior Services and Prairie Mountain Health, all of which have representatives meeting to plan this day.

Rivers Collegiate was very surprised to receive not only $1,000 from RACF but another $10,000 from Brandon and Area Community Foundation (BACF). Morken said RACF applied to BACF “to assist in building an outdoor classroom for Rivers Collegiate’s Wetlands Centre of Excellence project. We were awarded a grant of $10,000 which flowed through our foundation to the Wetlands.”

In accepting the $11,000 cheque, teacher Daniel Kiazyk offered thanks for the financial support and said their generosity was “very humbling. This project was once small three years ago but now it’s a giant tree. We were one of 12 schools accepted by Ducks Unlimited Canada for a Wetlands Centre of Excellence. We really feel it will have positive impact on the education, environment and people in our area. We ultimately hope to bring to Rivers docks for kids to critter dip and a path around the wetland area — the pit — to have an educational function. Our older students will teach the younger students; this spring we hope to have students from Rivers Elementary  and Tanner’s Crossing [Minnedosa]. I am very much humbled by this awarding.”

Morken then added that collegiate students will be building the docks, paths and observation towers. “It will be an awesome project,” she said. According to the school’s website, the purpose of the project is to promote biodiversity and conservation of wetlands areas in Manitoba. The centre will allow students and community to explore a local facility to learn about and enjoy wildlife, plants, water and the human connection to the environment. We look forward to the grand opening of the Wetlands Centre of Excellence in spring 2015.”

Accessible by the walking trail at Millennium Park and/or from the street (Memorial Drive), the 60-acre area near Rivers Soccer Park is expected to draw visitors from a large area.

Before the grants were presented Morken gave credit to director Michelle McFadden who is responsible for a themed calendar. It was her idea to ask Westoba Credit Union to consider promoting RACF through a page in their calendar. Westoba was so impressed with the suggestion that they contacted all foundations in the communities they serve, and generated a calendar which  features various foundations with their logos and some history. In addition to the cheque presentations, RACF provided non-alcoholic drinks, desserts and background music (thanks to harpist Aeleen Sclater).