The Hills are Alive with Philanthropy
In March of 1969 a group of local women came together to fulfill their need of fellowship and community service in their area. The group meets in the evening hence the name Brandon Hills Fireflies came to be, as they would “light up the night”.
One of the main goals for the Brandon Hills Fireflies group is to keep their community members connected through community activities. Such activities that take place are tours of local businesses and other interesting venues, presentation and service and fellowship is instilled within everyone who participates.
With the success of this annual event they are able to make financial donations to various charities, one of which is the Brandon Area Community Foundation. The group always strive to have their donations remain within the Westman area.
Spokesperson Darlene McPherson comments: “With the decline in rural families, we certainly have experienced a decline in our membership. for those of us who reamin active with the Fireflies, we feel we are fulfilling a need in our community. We are keeping our rural friends and neighbours informed and conncected but at the same time we hope we are helping organizations with our donations”.
The Fireflies are definitely a shining light of community spirit!
The Rounthwaite Cemetery Fund
Around 1879 English settlers arrived in the Brandon Hills area. Reverend John Fredric Rounthwaite passed away and was buried in the cemetery beside the church.
In 1892 the railway came through about 1 1/2 miles east of the church’s location forcing St. John the Divine Anglican Church to be moved to the Rounthwaite townsite leaving the cemetery out of the country where t is still located to this day.
In the 1950’s the Anglican Church formally gave the cemetery to the Rounthwaite community. The cemetery has been under the direction of the local volunteers ever since 1987-1988 many spruce trees were planted adding shelter from the wind and beauty to the background of the cemetery. by 1996, the decision was made to incorporate under the name “Rounthwaite Cemetery Society”, shortly thereafter we received charitable status.
As they years have gone by, the cemetery had been groomed by volunteers, now with donations from generous community supporters they committee has been able to hire individuals to mow and maintain the grounds as well having installed a new chain link fence making the cemetery a very attractive place in our community.
2013, the directors of the Rounthwaite Cemetery are very pleased to have established a fund with the Brandon Area Community Foundation. The surplus earned fro our fund will then be available for any repairs and maintenance needed for the cemetery grounds.
Any future donations for the Rounthwaite Cemetery can be sent to the Brandon Area Community Foundation.
The Gord and Diane Peters Family Fund
The Brandon and Area Community Foundation received an amazing gift from Gord and Diane Peters. Their $1 million dollar contribution pledge made to BACF is a generous gift to the Foundation and to our community. The Peters’ contribution will be in the form of shares they personally own in Cando Contracting Ltd., the company that Gord co-founded in 1978. Their initial contribution of $500,000 was made in December 2008 and that donation will be followed up with additional commitments of $250,000 in 2009 and 2010.
Cando is an employee owned company that celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2008. It currently employs in excess of 270 people at over a dozen fixed locations across North America and whose head office is located in Brandon MB. Gord and Diane are very thankful for all the hard work and dedication that the Cando team has put into the company to make it into the success it is today. Cando and its employees have always been generous with their resources in whatever community they worked in. The company has introduced many innovative ideas such as an Employee Ownership Program in 1996 to make sure that all team members have an opportunity to share in Cando’s overall success. For Gord and Diane, giving is a very direct way to share their business success with their community. The Peters are long time residents of Brandon but are very proud of their rural Manitoba roots. Both came from families and communities that believed in the spirit of “giving back”. The BACF’s commitment to Southwestern Manitoba parallels the Peters’ desire to enhance their personal philanthropic goals.
A tremendous amount of Brandon’s wealth is in private business. We hope that this innovative donation from Gord and Diane can be a model and catalyst for other business owners,” said BACF Chair Keay Dobson- Golletz. “The amount, timing and creativity of Gord and Diane’s gift will be felt throughout the community and we are extremely grateful for their generosity.
Norman Roziere Scholarship Fund
Norm Roziere was proud to be a firefighter with the Brandon Fire Department for 35 years, from 1973 to 2008. He was an extremely positive, energetic man who found the good in everyone, and was not afraid to stand up for his beliefs. He had a great sense of humour, and could make everyone feel welcome.
At home, Norm was very hard-working, and he made it his personal mission to teach his children that hard work pays off, and any job worth doing was worth doing right. He was also very community-minded, helping out whenever he could.
At work, Norm was a well-respected lieutenant, but he was always willing to lend a hand where he was needed. He never felt that he was above anyone else in the department; all of his colleagues were his work family. This respect and caring was reflected in the way his colleagues supported him in his final weeks.
This scholarship is awarded to a student at the Manitoba Emergency Services College who embodies the qualities that Norm Roziere showed:
– Sense of humour
– Proud of his service, and
– Positive attitude
The Community Fund for Canada’s 150th
This initiative is made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th; a collaboration between Brandon Area Community Foundation, the Government of Canada, and the extraordinary leaders in our community.
A total of $33,000.00 will be award to four Canada 150 Brandon community projects.
$16,500 from the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, $16,500 from BACF:
$3,000.00 to Daly House Museum – Project: a collection of photographs from 1910 depicting Brandon and area activities including Dominion Day sporting events, First Nations demonstrations at the Brandon Summer Fair, the Brandon Lawn Tennis Club and trips to Pelican Lake resort at Ninette, MB.
An exhibit will be developed that will explore the social lives of Brandon & area citizens during a period when Brandon was transforming into a modern city. The exhibit will also show the importance of these activities in today’s society and how social norms related to these activities has changed. The contrast between the historic images and the modern images will broaden the audience’s understanding of the community’s heritage and its place in Canadian History. The exhibit is scheduled for October 2017.
For more information please contact: Eileen Trott, Curator
$8,000.00 to Assiniboine Food Forest (AFF) – Project: The Planting a Legacy: AFF will launch a 1 acre orchard with the goal to provide generations with high quality fruits free of pesticides and artificial fertilizers. The launch will take place in September, 2017; it will involve volunteers planting nursery fruit stock, a family BBQ and musical celebration for Canada’s sesquicentennial.
The orchard will become an integral element of Brandon’s community garden network, providing seasonal fruits to Samaritan House Food Bank and the general public. This project represents Canada’s historical generosity, neighbourliness, and rich ecological heritage.
For more information please contact: David Barnes
- $10,000.00 to Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba – Project: The Billboard: to present two six-month public art projects by one emerging and one established Indigenous artist, printed and installed on a billboard facing Rosser Avenue at the corner of 7th This is a high-impact project that would serve as a visual beacon for the vibrancy of Indigenous and Canadian cultural. Each billboard will be launched with an outdoor public event on Rosser Avenue, organized in collaboration with nearby community partners such as Assiniboine Community College Adult Collegiate, Helping Hand Kitchen, and Samaritan House. Collaboration with the City of Brandon we will close off a portion of the street for a block party, and to offer a free celebratory meal in collaboration with Helping Hands Kitchen, alongside live music and a festive atmosphere.
For more information please contact: John Hampton, Director
$12,000.00 to Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra – Project: Adventures in Music – Brandon: A special program celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday has been created for our education concert series for Grade 4-6 students to be performed in two concerts in Brandon on May 16th, 2017. The program features works by Canadians of many different background, including women, immigrants, and French-Canadians. Indigenous and Metis culture are strongly represented through a coral work by Andrew Balfour to be sung by over 200 children at the Brandon concerts and through a new arrangement of three Metis songs by WSO, which will feature student recorder and string ensembles. Students will come away from the concerts with an enhanced artistic representation of what it means to be Canadian.
For more information please contact: Lindsay Woolgar