LeRoi Foundation hands out spring grants

This year's spring granting cycle has come to a close for Trail's LeRoi Community Foundation, with over $10,000 in grants handed out.

This year’s spring granting cycle has come to a close for Trail’s LeRoi Community Foundation, with over $10,000 in grants handed out to seven local organizations.

Laura Laratta, the chair of the foundation’s granting committee, says when selecting recipients committee members look to see where they can have the most effect.

“We have discussions about which projects really speak to us,” she said. “We look to see where we can have the most impact by giving some money, or which projects we feel are really great for this cycle.

“We really try to make an effort to make sure that we touch on different areas of interest like (environment, arts and culture, health and wellness and more).”

The grant money comes from a number of endowments from stakeholders and citizens, which is administered by the foundation.

Last week, the foundation handed over a check for $10,080 to be spread out amongst the 1st Warfield Beavers, Cubs and Scouts for a Cub Car Track, the Trail and District Public Library for their summer reading program, Wildsight for the Education in the Wild program, the Generation to Generation Society for the Red Roofs Duathlon, the Greater Trail Community Skills Centre for a new mural celebrating women, the Trail Historical Society for its 2016 historical calendar project and Black Jack Ski Club to go towards new equipment.

Gerald Klassen, treasurer for the Rossland-based cross country ski club, says the $2,000 the group received from the foundation is another step up the ladder towards paying off a newer Snow Cat machine to keep the ski runs groomed and ready for action.

“(Snow Cats) are very expensive, he said, “Let me put it this way – anything helps. We have good membership at the club, but the memberships don’t cost a lot per year. So any kind of grant is great. And the LeRoi Foundation helped us by relieving some of the pressure on us as far as our payment schedule is concerned. Instead of paying it off in 2018, maybe we can do it 2017.”

The club has two machines, but one is on its last legs, so instead of spending $40,000 on a complete overhaul, Black Jack decided to invest in a new machine.

Klassen says without the investment, the club wouldn’t be able to host large events for cross country skiers across Canada.

“(The current machine) was getting long in the tooth. They are only useful for a certain number of hours,” he explained.

“We run these really big world-class races up there and if we have a groomer that breaks down, we are screwed. We have people coming from all over North America. If something happens to these big machines, and we are hosting these races that are really good for our club because we make money, we need a back-up.”

Now that the spring granting cycle has come to a close, Laratta says the LeRoi Foundation is hunkering down for the summer, figuring out ways to raise money and continue growing its endowments. Sometime in October, the foundation will be getting ready to start receiving applications for its fall granting cycle.

For more information about the foundation, how to apply for grants or to see past recipients, visit www.leroifoundation.com.