Bulkley Valley Credit Union gives away $70,000

The Lakes District Fall Fair Society walked away with a substantial cheque last week.

Bulkley Valley Credit Union Lakes District Branch staff and members gather together to present members of the Lakes District Fall Fair Society a cheque for $17

Bulkley Valley Credit Union Lakes District Branch staff and members gather together to present members of the Lakes District Fall Fair Society a cheque for $17

The Lakes District Fall Fair Society walked away with a substantial cheque last week.

The $17,500 cheque was issued as part of the Bulkley Valley Credit Union’s (BVCU) 70 year anniversary celebrations.

This spring BVCU is awarding $70,000 to not for profit groups, which equates to $1,000 for each of their 70 years of businesses.

A total of $17,500 was up for grabs by a successful applicant from each of BVCU’s four branch offices.

Sandy Dore, manager of the BVCU Lakes District branch said the BVCU as a whole received 100 applications for the $17,500, 14 of which were received by the local branch.

A community support group comprised of five community members, Richard Vossen, director of the BVCU and three BVCU Lakes District branch members narrowed the 14 applicants down to just three to be in the running for the $17,500.

According to Dore a worksheet of set criteria was used as a scoring system to choose the three finalists.

“The group had a really difficult time narrowing down the applications as they were all very worthy projects,” Dore said.

The community at large were then asked to choose a winner from the three finalists by coming in to the branch and voting for their favourite project.

Dore said, “Each community member was allowed to submit one ballot per day for their chosen group.”

The three groups up for nomination in the Lakes District were the Lakes District Fall Fair Society for the rebuilding of cattle show rings, the installation of new gates on the livestock barns and a new sound system. The Burns Lake Rotary Club were requesting the funding for a covered basketball court/hockey rink at the Dick Schritt ball field and the Burns Lake Curling Club for a kitchen renovation and wheel chair access to the facility.

Dore said, “It was up to each individual group to solicit their votes and the fall fair group were the most successful.”

“They were out telling people to come in and vote for them and it was nice to see everyone coming in to the branch and voting,” she added.

Linda Maertz, vice chair of the Lakes District Children’s Festival said winning the money means the society can keep going and improve on what they already have at the Eagle Creek show grounds.

“It is important for us to teach our future generations about agriculture and we really appreciate the community coming out and voting for us. It was awesome to get the most amount of votes,” she said.

Joan McFee, director of the Lakes District Fall Fair Society agreed.

“We really appreciate the credit union for the funding and the great community support we received,” she said.

When asked if the society had a plan for soliciting votes McFee smiled and said, “We had a little strategy.”

She added they asked local residents if they had heard about the credit union funding available for community groups and asked them to vote for their project.

The strategy worked.

The Fall Fair project received 695 of the 1423 total votes, winning by a convincing margin.

The curling club received 387 votes and the Burns Lake Rotary Club’s project received 334 votes in total.

The BVCU Houston branch $17,500 winners were the Ladies Auxiliary number 249, with a project for the Legion loft to make it wheelchair accessible allowing the entire community to better use the facility.

In New Hazelton the Roche View Lodge Society walked away with a cheque for $17,500 for a development project for the front entrance of the Roche View Lodge. This will make the lodge more accessible by building a new sidewalk and installing automatic doors.

And in Smithers a renovation project proposed by the Glenwood Hall Society won $17,500. The project will upgrade the washroom, kitchen and service areas of the Driftwood Hall to keep the historic asset available for the community.