Eighteen good causes championed by farmers receive grants

Hand over wheat field in early summer evening.
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Thanks to the support of Canadian farmers, 66 rural-based charities and non-profits — including 18 in Alberta — have received a $2,500 grant from the Canada’s Farmers Grow Communities program.

The six-year-old program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, gives grants to schools, libraries, historical societies, health and recreational facilities, rural daycares, senior clubs, 4-H groups, food banks, and other community organizations. To be eligible, the organization must be supported by a local farmer.

One of the Alberta recipients is the Bay Tree Community Park Association, which will put its grant toward upgrading the local park and playground facility.

“I am a young senior and I can tell you that as a child I played on the equipment that is currently in the park,” said local resident Lurind Jeaneaux. “That’s a long time to go without any upgrades, so we are thrilled to receive this boost to our fundraising efforts.”

That project was supported by Bay Tree-area farmer Garth Thompson.

“A gift of $2,500 doesn’t seem like a lot, but from talking to some of the farmers and the charities themselves it can make a huge difference in their communities,” said Trish Jordan, public and industry affairs director at Monsanto Canada.

Other Alberta recipients (and the farmer(s) who supported them) were WINGS of Providence Society (William Heidecker, Calgary), Nose Creek Valley Museum Society (Terrie and Scott Copley, Crossfield), Ponoka & District Health Foundation (Dorothy Ungstad, Ponoka), Stettler Regional Child Care Society (Heather Rowland, Big Valley), Beaverhill Bird Observatory Society (Nathan Strilchuk), Leduc & District Emergency Shelter (Gordon Schneider, Beaver County), La Glace People Deterrent Citizens on Patrol (Nancy Schlauwitz, La Glace), Medicine Hat Youth Action Society (Nichole Neubauer, Medicine Hat), Wrentham Fire & Rescue Foundation (Kim Owen, Wrentham), Smoky River Palliative Care Society (Jules Aubin, Guy), Société Centre Communautaire De St. Isidore (Alain Lavoie, St. Isidore), Alix Agricultural Society (Carolyn Barritt, Alix), Trochu Playschool (Ernest Gelinas, Trochu), Community Association for Lasting Success (Wesley Antonchuk, Vegreville), Holden Agricultural Society (Maury Micklich, Holden), Friends of the Innisfree Library Society (Randy and Susan Cannon, Innisfree), and the Mannville Historical Society (Jim and Eileen Kitt, Mannville).

The 2018 edition of the program will be open for submissions in February. Farmers can submit an application for a charity in their area until the end of September.

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