Ask and you shall receive.
That was definitely the case for Wannes Luppens, former Black Jack Ski Club president.
Luppens has accepted an executive director position with Cross Country BC but didn’t leave for Vernon without one last-ditch effort to give back to the local cross-country ski community.
He has set up the Black Jack Ski Club Legacy, which started with his $500 donation but quickly reached the minimal $10,000 level needed to create the fund under the LeRoi Community Foundation.
The endowed fund ensures donations stay to be invested and then a portion of the earnings from the investment are earmarked for the club.
“Just imagine if a Black Jack fund had been set up 20 or 30 years ago, how the club would be benefiting today,” Luppens wrote to the club.
“Each year the (executive) would prioritize spending the annual proceeds from the fund, but it could support various initiatives such as new grooming equipment, new and improved trails, the kids’ Skill Development Program, a new warming cabin and more.”
The only catch, he said, was the initial $10,000 investment, which was made possible with contributions from about 20 donors. The fund has now swelled to approximately $12,000 but isn’t expected to stop there.
“Ethan Meginnes and Alexandra Loeb have generously decided to match the next $5,000 worth of donations received before the end of 2015,” he continued. “They are doing so in recognition of Ritchie and Audrey Mann’s decades-long contribution to helping Black Jack get to where it is today, and also in memory of Audrey, who passed away recently. ”
Funds like this have long-term vision, explained Louise McEwan, president and chairperson of the foundation.
“What community foundations do, which is really different from other foundations, is we build endowed funds,” she said. “We receive donations with the idea that that money, the capital, stays invested forever and as funds grow they provide money for granting within the community.”
The new fund is one of 13 that the foundation manages. The announcement is shared with the addition of a new scholarship, the Harold Fishwick Memorial Scholarship.
The Grade 12 student selected for the $1,250 toward continuing post-secondary education had to be involved in a recognized music program, with preference given to the Trail and District After School Music Program run by Terry Moon out of the Alliance Church.
Ben Kanda remembers stepping through a “haze of emotion” when he took to the graduation stage but his path became clearer when his name was called, along with the announcement of the scholarship.
The 17-year-old will be studying music at Trinity Western University come fall.
The new scholarship is one of two set up by donor Peter Fishwick of Trail, who wanted to honour his late father, Harold Fishwick, the same way he did his brother when he set up the Howie Fishwick Memorial Scholarship a few years ago.
Peter’s parents died in a motor vehicle accident in the early 70s and his brother never quite recovered from the loss. Howie had barely taken a pension when he passed away at 57 years old.
“During the war, (Dad) was in the RCA Band (The Royal Canadian Artillery Band). He played the clarinet,” he told the Times.
He moved to Trail after the war and went onto to play with the Maple Leaf Band.
“Terry’s program is such a good program and I’m really keen on supporting it,” Peter said. “It’s definitely therapeutic (to give back). It’s made me feel a lot better about myself and everything.”
The foundation provided him a way of honouring his family’s name all while providing some closure to a traumatic experience.
The LeRoi Community Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the betterment of the Greater Trail area through an extensive network of donors and corporations.
For more information visit, leroifoundation.com