Community Foundation of North Okanagan director Calvin Hoy presents a $12,000 community grant to Lauren Lypchuk of Cycling Without Age at the foundation’s spring grants reception at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre. The foundation awarded more than $140,000 in grants to 24 North Okanagan groups and organizations. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Community Foundation of North Okanagan doles out record grant amount

Group awards more than $140,000 in grants to 24 North Okanagan organizations

Cycling Without Age is a program started eight years ago in Denmark that takes seniors and those less able out for a bike ride.

Lauren Lypchuk wants to bring that program to the North Okanagan.

Thanks to the Community Foundation of North Okanagan (CFNO), Lypchuk is closer to starting the program.

Lypchuk received a $12,000 grant — the largest grant awarded on the evening — which she’ll use toward the purchase of two bikes for the local program.

“The bikes are electric assist with a carriage in front where two people sit,” said Lypchuk following the CFNO’s annual spring grants reception at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre.

“The plan is to take people who otherwise would never get to go out on a bike down the (Okanagan) rail trail, Polson Park or downtown. There’s no fee or cost for any of this; it’s strictly 100 per cent volunteer.”

A total of 24 North Okanagan organizations received a record $116,508.31 from the foundation, plus another $23,650 in top-up funds from Vernon philanthropist George Galbraith and the Galbraith Family Endowment, and $1,100 from Vernon RE/MAX.

“Giving away money is what we’re all about,” said CFNO executive director Leanne Hammond. “Thank you to our donors, and to those who have allowed the community grants program benefit from their endowment funds.”

The foundation had 35 applications — significantly more than 2017 — requesting almost $200,000 in funds.

“We intend to grow our endowment and engage our donors to help us increase the amount we have to give away,” said Hammond. “And increase our impact in the not-for-profit sector.”

The grants ranged from $12,000 down to $358.31, which went to the HOPE Outreach and House of Hope organization for street outreach carts.

Other recipients:

The Bridge Educational Society ($10,000, childcare centre kitchens);

Caetani Centre ($10,000, Caetani open house project);

Canadian Mental Health Association ($10,000, community education and suicide prevention);

North Okanagan Child Care Society ($10,000, playground upgrades);

Schubert Centre Society ($10,000, bathroom renovation project);

Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs ($9,000, Teen Junction; safe and engaging environment);

Okanagan Landing and District Community Association ($8,000, Paddlewheel Hall green initiative and restoration);

Vernon and District Association for Community Living ($7,500, wheelchair accessible transportation van);

Arts Council of the North Okanagan ($7,000, facility upgrade of plumbing systems);

Lumby and District Museum ($7,000, museum learning/research centre for kids);

BrainTrust Canada Association ($5,300, mental health and brain injury counselling);

Sing For Your Life Foundation ($5,000, Silver Song Group – Vernon);

Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society ($5,000, Vernon Diwali Festival project);

Lumby OPT Clinic ($4,900, Lumby high school clinic);

People Place Society ($4,000, lighting upgrade);

John Rudy Health Resource Centre Association ($3,500, health resource library and support);

Hullcar and Deep Creek Society ($3,400, Hullcar Hall 2018 renovations);

Vernon Restholm ($4,000, solar panel project);

Junior Achievement BC ($1,300, business education programs);

Independent Living Vernon ($1,200, technology upgrade for accessibility);

Enderby and District Community Resource Centre ($1,100, SAGE program);

Abbeyfield Houses of Vernon Society ($850, dishwasher upgrade).

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More than $140,000 was awarded to 24 North Okanagan organizations at the Community Foundation of North Okanagan’s spring grants reception at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

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