Steinbach Community Foundation helps six groups with grants


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Other foundations benefit from the Steinbach Community Foundation (SCF) and those foundations are helping improve lives.

Like Ezekial Hunt. He and his mom Bianka can now explore more trails by blazing through the rough stuff with his new all-terrain wheelchair attachment.

A grinning Ezekial showed off his new accessory at the Community Foundation’s AGM on June 26. He got his big wheel from the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation (CRF), which received $2,139 for adapted equipment.


Ezekial Hunt with mom Bianka is all smiles at the Steinbach Community Foundation AGM after receiving a new all-terrain wheelchair attachment from the Children’s Rehabilitation Fund.
CHRIS GAREAU THE CARILLON Ezekial Hunt with mom Bianka is all smiles at the Steinbach Community Foundation AGM after receiving a new all-terrain wheelchair attachment from the Children’s Rehabilitation Fund.

CRF’s fund development officer Mia Dunn explained that Manitoba has one of the highest instances of child disability in the country. The goal of the CRF is to help all those kids thrive and participate in their communities, and Dunn said the SCF has helped them do that over the years.

“It is so important because we have the longest waiting list for adaptive equipment we’ve ever seen, and it changes on a daily basis. So when we’re able to receive support from communities like yours we’re so appreciative to live in Steinbach,” said Dunn to the crowd of SCF beneficiaries and supporters at the AGM.

SCF gave out a total of $27,751 in grants from its general community fund. It also has more designated funds like the Mennonite Heritage Village Signature Museum Fund, and funds from donors who wish to have the interest from their contribution directed to specific causes.

One example is the Koepke Family Fund that supports arts and culture, and which made up $190 of the grant to the Steinbach Arts Council, which got nearly $3,000 in total.

Arts Council executive director David Klassen explained that the money will help make more room at its building for emerging artists to share their expressions.

“It’s important to recognize that with growth of a non-profit organization such as ours, we absolutely need additional funding from the community,” said Klassen.

He explained how they went from 60 classes and workshops in 2018 to 110 now, while sustaining its free after school arts program for youth from Grades 5 to 12. Nearly 500 students took advantage over the last three years.

Feedback from local artists was that more exhibit space has been a request for the last 20 years, according to Klassen.

“It is time to expand our gallery by simply installing some additional lights, some hanging systems, and display cases within our centre,” he explained.

“But the gallery expansion is not just a project that clears wall space for a couple kids to hang their pictures. We know from studies and also from experience that there is no greater way to make kids and youth feel valued than by inviting them to contribute,” he said, adding that sense of belonging can last a lifetime.

Another dedicated grant is the William and Agnes Lepp Family Fund that contributed $3,036 to Steinbach Christian School for a natural fitness playground course.

Aulneau Renewal Centre received $5,000 to upgrade its Steinbach location so people of all ages can get mental health care without as much travel to Winnipeg.

Steinbach Family Resource Centre received $6,500 for renovations that will double the staff contingent by allowing six youth to work in the summer. The resource centre is already 90 percent done the renos, having jumped on the opportunity as soon as they heard they were going to get the grant.

The largest grant of the evening of $8,118 went to enVision Foundation Inc, which serves 300 individuals with intellectual disabilities. It will now have the first digital resource lending library in Steinbach and the Southeast, providing things like iPads, phones, Fitbits and other gadgets that will help their clients achieve more independence by needing to rely on staff less for day-to-day tasks.

“Often they don’t use traditional ways to communicate, and this technology will help bridge that gap,” said enVision’s Janice Munro.

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