Staff of the Lakes District branch of the Bulkley Valley Credit Union. The branch has supported several organizations and events in Burns Lake and area over the years. (L-R) Kyla Remanda

Staff of the Lakes District branch of the Bulkley Valley Credit Union. The branch has supported several organizations and events in Burns Lake and area over the years. (L-R) Kyla Remanda

Bulkley Valley Credit Union contributes big

The Lakes District branch has contributed over $250,000 to the community over the past five years

In the past five years, the Lakes District branch of the Bulkley Valley Credit Union has contributed over $250,000 in cash and merchandise products to the community of Burns Lake and area.

The extensive list of organizations the branch has supported over the years include the Burns Lake Food Bank, the Rotary Club of Burns Lake, the Burns Lake Mountain Biking Association, the Lakes District Arts Council, the Lakes District Fall Fair, the Lakes District Festival, the Lakes District Film Society, the Burns Lake Veterinary Clinic and the Pines.

The branch has also supported several school teams, the school bursary, and events such as the annual cancer fundraising, Cold Smoke, Canada Day, Aboriginal Day and the Merchants Christmas Parade.

With four branches located from Hazelton to Burns Lake and approximately 15,000 members, the Bulkley Valley Credit Union has over $300 million in assets. The company has been attracting new customers with the promise that their money will go back to the community in different ways.

Sandy Doré, branch manager of the Lakes District branch, explained that a percentage of the company’s annual profits go back to the community in the form of donations.

“The more you bank at the credit union, the more money is given back to the community,” she said.

In order to better assist the needs of each community, each branch of the Bulkley Valley Credit Union has established two committees – the Community Support Committee and the Economic Development Committee.

The Community Support Committee has an established budget to fulfill smaller requests for groups in the community such as sports teams, local events and celebrations. The Economic Development Committee takes care of the larger requests related to the economic development of the area.

The Lakes District Branch has also supported some initiatives of the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako such as the Small Business Start program and the Northern Emergency training session. In addition, the credit union sponsors a student every year to attend the week long YES Camp in Lake Cowichan, B.C.

Doré said contributing to Burns Lake is important especially because the community has been “moving forward in a very positive way.”

“It is nice to see new businesses starting up, and existing and long-term businesses expanding,” she said. “Real estate is moving and we are seeing new people, of all ages, moving into the area, so by all counts the area is looking very strong and positive.”