Big or small, every penny helps North Okanagan groups.
A total of 18 organizations received nearly $85,000 as the Community Foundation of North Okanagan announced its spring grants Tuesday at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre.
“This is probably our favourite time of the year as we get to give away money to our communities for all of the good things they do for all of us,” said foundation board president Janice Mori.
Five groups received $10,000 grants.
Habitat For Humanity – Vernon Chapter will use the funds for its Vernon Triplex Project.
The Okanagan Landing and District Community Association will be building a picnic shelter pavillion at Paddlewheel Park.
The Schubert Centre Society will upgrade its tables and its 32-year-old phone system.
The Upper Room Mission will use its grant to build a backyard garden expansion greenhouse, and the Vernon Public Art Gallery will use its grant toward an education project.
The smallest cheque handed out was one of $300 to a very appreciative Cherryville Gospel Church for its Christmas Store where good used items are purchased with cans of food.
“Nothing in the store costs more than three cans of food,” said the store’s Angela Harvey, an employee of Cherryville Elementary School where students can earn cans of food to buy at the store by helping out others.
There is a five-can limit at the store which has been in operation, said Harvey, for 17 years.
“Kids get so excited when it’s store time. The bigger kids cashing the little guys through, packing their bags and wrapping it in paper.”
The foundation distributes close to $500,000 each year to North Okanagan organizations through agency funds, donor-directed and donor-advised fund and the foundation’s Smart and Caring campaign.
Also receiving cheques Tuesday:
Food Action Society of the North Okanagan ($8,596.91 for community gardens restoration);
United Way of North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap ($5,224 for BC211 implementation);
Vernon Restholm Association ($4,500 for fire protection);
Vernon Community Music School Association ($4,000 for roof repairs);
Abbeyfield Houses of Vernon Society ($3,000 for flooring replacement);
School District No. 22, Okanagan Landing Elementary, ($3,000 for its Pollinator garden sign project);
North Okanagan Therapeutic Riding Association ($1,795 for refencing horse paddocks);
Inspire Health Society ($1,400 for supportive cancer care program);
Literacy and Youth Initiatives Society of the North Okanagan ($1,260 for And The Wall Comes Tumbling Down project);
Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum and Art Gallery ($500 for replacing existing hot water tank);
Mara Musical and Athletic Association, $500 for protective covers);
Vernon Treatment Centre ($400 for Smart TV for classroom).