Champion Morinville Foundation funds six community initiatives

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by Stephen Dafoe

A month after the deadline closed, the Champion Morinville Foundation (CMF) held a Dragon’s Den-style pitch party and awarded cheques to six community initiatives.

CMF put the call out for pitches with a Mar. 17 deadline and an opportunity to receive up to $1000 per idea. Individuals and groups in the area were eligible to apply, so long as the pitches expressed a desire to make a difference in the community.

Those pitches were presented Tuesday night at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre. The ideas were awarded grant money based on innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, increasing community engagement and enhancing social responsibility.

“I have to say, the night exceeding our expectations by a long shot,” said CMF Chair Thomas Holmes. “Every single group brought their A game last night. We had demonstrations, skits and child participation.”

Holmes said the room was full with family and friends coming out to support the projects.

“Champion was generous in allowing the Board to support each one of the projects,” Holmes said, noting $4000 in grants were given out.

One of the pitches was a Wheelchair Accessible Community Garden, a project that would see the development of accessible garden beds. The initiative will provide Morinville with the only public venue for citizens of all abilities to work in a garden. The initiative received $750.

The Morinville Community Library received $500 for a Pop-Up Library they say will bring essential municipal services to isolated and rural residents in Morinville and Sturgeon County.

The Library pitch indicates the library is “nearing capacity for programs, people, and material.” As such, they feel the best way to bring literacy and lifelong learning to even more residents is to go to where they are.

Community Futures was awarded $750 for their Lemonade Day project, which teaches children and young adults skills that will prepare them for both business and life.

Lemonade Day (see our story here) involves participants working through a workbook that outlines all the steps to start a business: setting the goal, creating a business plan, making a budget, looking for an investor, saving money, and giving some of the profits back to the community.

Participants will run their lemonade stands in Morinville on June 23.

Pickleball for Seniors received $500 in funding. The presenters said it was an opportunity for everyone in Morinville to participate in pickleball, a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. The recipients are hoping to grow the sport and get people out for fresh air and exercise.

The Rehabilitation of Little Egg Creek initiative presented by the Green Warriors Club received $750 in funding. The plan is to rehabilitate Little Egg Creek by planting trees and other plants to help restore the creek. The club will get the assistance of Grade 5 students to assist with planting.

The Morinville Public School Community Garden initiative received $750 in funding as well. The school’s pitch said it would improve Morinville “by giving our children access to quality nutrition through fresh fruits and vegetables grown in our garden.” The school said students would be more likely to eat quality nutrition through regular access to the fresh produce that they have invested time and energy into growing.

For more information on the Champion Morinville Foundation, visit www.championmorinvillefoundation.ca.

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