Six groups seek funding under Community Grant Program

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Community Services brought forward approximately $8,700 in grant requests from six community groups during the Jan. 22 Council meeting, an amount that surpassed the $5,500 allotted each quarter but fell below the amount left in 2012 program funding.

The Community Grant Program has been in place since 2010 with an annual budget of $27,500. It was designed on the recognition of the benefit Morinville derives from the groups and individuals who provide a service to the community by hosting community events or representing Morinville at provincial and national competitions.

Requests were received from The Black Ice Volleyball Club, The Morinville Road Runners Youth Basketball Club, The Sturgeon Hockey Club’s 4 the Love of the Game Tournament, The Morinville Lions Historic Celebration, The Morinville Community Library’s Battle of the Boxes Challenge, and a joint request from Heritage Lodge and Aspen House for a Community Event and Outing Program. Each of the groups, with the exception of the Library and Lions Club, requested the maximum $2,500. The Battle of the Boxes sponsor initially requested $355.88 and the Lions Club requested $1,000.

Council weighed the merits of the 2012 fourth quarter grant intakes before approving the requests under one motion.

The Black Ice Volleyball Club is a new group in Morinville in its first year of operation. The club has 24 players in two teams, U15 and U16, and is hoping to expand to other age groups. The $2,500 grant request was to cover the start up costs of purchasing equipment. Council heard volunteer coaches and parents have been donating the time in teaching the girls the necessary skills in the sport.

Another sport group that came seeking funding was the Morinville Road Runners, a group looking to support its roster that has grown from 67 players in 2012 to 102 players in 2013. Council heard the grant funding was to cover the costs of the additional uniforms, equipment and coach training necessary to expand the Road Runners. The increase in membership has lead to three new teams, three more sets of uniform and more gymnasium rental time.

The Sturgeon Hockey Club once again came to Council seeking in-kind funding for its annual Novice Cup Tournament; an event organizers are anticipating will draw some 400 players and spectators to Morinville and Legal. Eighteen teams are expected to take part. The memorial tournament is a fundraiser for the Sturgeon Minor Hockey Club and supports all teams in the league by keeping the costs of playing reasonable.

Non-sporting events receive funding as well

Council also approved funding for non-sport community events.

A $1,000 request from the Morinville Lions Club to help fund an Historical Celebration to be held in conjunction with the upcoming Snowman Family Day Celebrations was approved. Council heard the Lions were planning a range of activities, including family photos, crafts using the discontinued penny, and historic displays, an accumulation of events that will provide an opportunity for local families to learn more about the community’s history.

Green creativity also met with Council’s approval. A $355.88 request to help fund the Battle of the Boxes Challenge, which was co-hosted by the Morinville Community Library earlier this month, was approved, particularly since it was reduced to about $170 due to costs being less than anticipated. The event drew eight participants who were challenged with using recyclable material and their creativity to create whatever could be imagined. The Battle of the Boxes Challenge drew a large number of people to the library to view the entries and to vote on them. Organizers are planning to make the Battle of the Boxes Challenge and annual event.

Council also weighed the merits of granting $2,500 to Aspen House and Heritage Lodge to cover their joint Community Event and Outing Program. Councillors heard that changes to Family and Community Support Services left the seniors with the choice of funding transportation themselves, a situation that would exclude many from the outings, or seeking funding under the Community Grant Program. The transportation included bussing to events in Morinville, Sturgeon County and Edmonton. Council voted in favour of the request.

The next Community Grant intake deadline is Feb. 28.

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