The Blue Mountain Village Foundation (BMVF) announced the recipients of its fall 2016 Grant Program in a special ceremony at the Don Braden Memorial Sculpture in Blue Mountain Village. A total of $25,000 will support four much-needed local community initiatives in the Southern Georgian Bay Region.
Cheque presentation: Left to right: Nilusha Premasinghe-General Manager Collingwood YMCA & Alex McIntosh-Manager of Annual Giving YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka, Jeremy Rhodes-Executive Director Elephant Thoughts, Kelly Oâ€™Neill-Annual Giving & Communications Coordinator, Deb Piggott-Fund Development Manager Big Brothers Big Sisters & Little Brother Matthew, Andrew Siegwart-President BMV Foundation & Association & Stacy Manning-Vice President BMV Foundation and General Manager, Westin Trillium House.
They are as follows:
Big Brothers Big Sisters, $50K for 50 Kids Project - $10,000
The goal of this project is to give 50 deserving kids access to programs for an entire year. The most recognized and successful program being the Big-Little Community Mentoring Program which matches adult volunteers with a child or youth in need of a mentor and friend for 3-4 hour weekly visits. This is the signature program that launched the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and since then it has been delivered internationally for over 100 years. "Providing the funds to support the mentorship of ten children is a really BIG deal to us at Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Georgian Triangle. It allows us to recruit ten more great role models for ten local kids that would otherwise be spending many more months on our waiting list. Instead, they are given the opportunity to enjoy activities with a great role model now. Because of the Blue Mountain Village Foundation's grant, these ten children will have a better chance at a better life. For that, we thank you from the bottom of our collective hearts." Deb Piggott, Fund Development Manager
Collingwood YMCA, Youth Access to Opportunities and Leadership Project - $10,000
This project will bring small groups of young people together weekly for a variety of life skills experiences. It will provide them a chance to learn skills directly (like cooking and food shopping) and learn from each other and positive role models through games and activities. Healthy coping skills will be modeled such as problem solving, conflict resolution and effective communication. Volunteer opportunities and philanthropic events will provide a better sense of community and social inclusion and physical activity that provides a healthy outlet for stress and teaches the importance of setting goals and balance with other priorities. "The community is at the heart of everything we do and we are so thankful to the Blue Mountain Village Foundation for their generous donation. With the help of their donation, young people in our community facing economic challenges will be able to access the YMCA to keep active, develop strong leadership skills, build self-confidence and make new friends. Together, we are helping to build a healthier community, and for that, we are so thankful." Nilusha Premasinghe, General Manager
Elephant Thoughts, Issues Facing Youth Program for Community Social Organizations - $2,500
This new transformative program, aimed at First Nation and high-risk youth in Georgian Triangle, will have a significant impact across a broad range of youth-oriented support groups. Programming will target different age groups on different days and cover topics like healthy living, youth depression, anti-bullying, eating disorders, life skills and more. A total of 28 sessions including 4 weekend overnight experiences will be offered at Kimbercote Farm, including special days reserved for youth with physical disabilities. A total of 700 students will benefit, with more than 10 social organizations participating. Each day will have a common thread of major social issues interwoven amongst exciting activities and leadership development.
"We are so appreciative of the Blue Mountain Village Foundation. They are one of the areas unsung heroes, supporting youth programming in major ways. The BMVF was one of the first organizations to support Elephant Thoughts locally and have shown confidence in us annually over the years. They are very much a part of helping the 1000's of lives we have touched.
This year they are supporting us deliver programs to Collingwood Youth at Risk. This holistic program is designed to help kids develop the necessary tools to deal with stress associated with youth issues like depression, bullying, eating disorders, sexual orientation. Thank you BMVF for your support." Jeremy Rhodes, Executive Director
Collingwood General & Marine Hospital Foundation, Surgical Equipment Campaign - $2,500
The Collingwood General & Marine Hospital is an Orthopedic Centre of Excellence and our community relies on the hospital to provide superior orthopedic care. This funding will help assist in upgrading and replacing surgical orthopedic equipment, which in turn helps reduce wait times and ensures patients are cared for with the highest degree of safety, dignity and comfort. "Expanding our surgical equipment broadens our capabilities to care for patients with life threatening illnesses or injuries. It broadens the range of procedures and positive outcomes at CGMH. The right tools today means having the opportunity to save someoneâ€™s life. That's why we are launching a $1.5 million campaign to replace a wide range of surgical equipment at CGMH. Every day the CGMH healthcare team is here to diagnose, treat and sometimes operate on our patients. This is all possible because of the support of our community. Thank you to the Blue Mountain Village Foundation for their investment in this important campaign." Jesse Dees, Annual Giving & Communications Associate Coordinator
"On behalf of our Board of Directors and donors, we are proud to support these timely, important and impactful organizations and initiatives. Each organization's focus on engagement, experience, and enriching the lives of our local community members is to be commended. It is fitting that we will provide these grants to community leaders at a ceremony where we will also honour the late Don Braden with the unveiling of a memorial sculpture dedicated to his years of leadership and service to Blue Mountain Village and the South Georgian Bay Region." Andrew Siegwart, President of BMVF.
For information about the Foundation, contact Catherine Smart at 705-606-0985.