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Foundation giving back to Morden

By Lorne Stelmach

The new Morden Area Foundation logo is showing up in more places around the city this fall with more grants announced.

The new Morden Area Foundation logo is showing up in more places around the city this fall with more grants announced.

Morden’s community foundation is putting another $14,000 back into the community this fall.

The Morden Area Foundation recently allocated another $14,130 in grants to agencies serving the Morden community.

Board chair Kathy Ritchie said they were pleased to offer support for Morden’s senior residents along with young families, tourists and paleontologists.

And the foundation support is aiding charitable agencies that promote innovative, important and helpful action to strengthen Morden and area.

“The unique strength of a community foundation is our ability to maintain an endowment fund ... a permanent pool of money that will continue to provide project funding for many years to come,” stated Ritchie.

“As our motto says ... we’re here for good, for ever!”

Since the first grants were issued by our community foundation in 1995, over $430,000 has been allocated to projects serving seniors, families and youth.

The largest portion of the grant money available this fall will go toward Tabor Home, as the foundation will issue a second payment of $12,000 as part of the total commitment of $50,000 toward construction costs of a planned new facility.

Seniors were instrumental in establishing the Morden Area Foundation 19 years ago and have been the biggest supporters over the years, stated Ritchie.

This autumn’s grant allocations also include a $1,000 grant that was selected by volunteer of the year Reg Braun.

Braun supports the efforts of the Morden Chamber of Commerce and the Corn & Apple Festival to co-ordinate their office space and make room for more community non-profit and charity groups including the foundation. He directed his honorary $1,000 grant to the combined corporation that owns and manages the former RM office at 379 Stephen Street.

Community foundation grants can only go to recognized charitable groups, so the grant will be set aside and paid out when the corporation achieves charitable status.

The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre is Morden’s most significant tourism resource, along with its role as a centre for scientific activity, and it also received funding.

“When the fossil discovery centre approached us to fund a share of the cost of needed improvements to their classroom, we were happy to oblige,” stated board member Ron Westfall. “We like to see that our funds can be part of a cooperative effort and can leverage money from other sources. We gladly approved a grant of $830, and this adds to the $115,000 that we have contributed to education over the years.”

And board members were also happy to respond to a smaller application from the Pembina Valley Pregnancy care centre for $300 to purchase some updated video resources.

Mothers and families facing challenging times have long benefitted from the centre’s library, and keeping it up to date is an important contributor to a smart and caring community.

The foundation board and staff look forward to an exciting 20th year in 2013 and welcome grant applications at any time. More information is available at

Executive director Thor Thorleifson looks forward to receiving more donations and estate bequests from the generous residents and friends of Morden to build the endowment funds.

“I hope to issue many more charitable donation receipts before the end of the year!”


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