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Foundation gives back

The Foundation held their annual granting evening on November 16, 2023 at the Boissevain Curling Club. For the 2023-2024 year the Foundation board chose 20 organizations in Boissevain-Morton to receive $81,000 in undesignated grants.

Of the undesignated grants, the largest went to the Boissevain School. They received $11,116 for 30 Chromebooks and 10 Ipads. The new technology will come in very handy for students.

Other grants show the board’s desire to spread the money around the community. There was $8,000 for an ice machine for Evergreen PCH, $8,000 for new evestroughing and cornice repair at the Arts Hall, $5,000 for the fire department for new breathing apparatus. Several went to youth organizations; some went to seniors’ groups. There were sports, music, outdoors, the food pantry. The grants covered most of the town.

The Boissevain Bowling Alley have a self-designated fund and try to do something that will benefit young people. In 2023, they contributed $3,330 to the school Chromebook and Ipad fund.

When the undesignated grants are combined with the designated and scholarships, the Boissevain & Morton Foundation gave back $190,462 to the community this year.

They were also the target of a lot of giving over 12 months. From October 1, 2022 to October 1, 2023, they received a total of $127,288.77 in donations. This certainly helps their ability to build assets and give into the future.

Youth in Philanthropy

Boissevain School’s Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) program was established in 2006 by then Vice Principal, Colleen Sambrook-Adams. The group was started with the support of the Thomas Sill grant. The group consists of grade 10 to 12 students, who first agree on a list of values that are important to them, then choose and interview groups meeting their criteria and finally come to a consensus on where the money should go. YIP has remained strong throughout the pandemic and looks forward to making more personal connections with community groups.

The Doug & Phyllis Empey Fund

Doug and Phyllis Empey operated a grain and beef operation in the Wapaha district. Phyllis was a great farm partner, delivering many meals to the field, as well as working as a school teacher at Wapaha.

Doug and Phyllis Empey
Doug and Phyllis Empey

They had three children; their eldest son, Blair continues to farm at the home farm northwest of Boissevain. Their daughter, Heather, farms with her husband at Sanford. Their youngest, Mervin, works for Alberta Agriculture at Stony Plain. In 1987 Doug and Phyllis retired to Boissevain, although were still active at the farm when needed.

They started their fund with the Boissevain & Morton Foundation in 1999. Each year they selected an organization that would benefit from their self-designated fund. The bequest is now given to St. Paul’s United Church annually. Phyllis passed away in July of 2014. Doug now resides at Westview Lodge.

The Clark Family Fund

The Ed and Muriel Clark family were long standing citizens of Boissevain who helped fabricate the community. Eddie Clark was an instigator in the creation of the Boissevain and Morton Foundation in 1975.

Muriel (Tuffy) Clark decided in 2020 to start a new Family Field of Interest Fund for town beautifcation. Disbursements from this fund is decided by the Board of Directors and is given out annually.
He was on the Boissevain-Morton Arts Council in 1989 and brought in funds to start the murals. The family have been an integral part of how our community has prospered, involved with many committees and boards over the years.

Photo: Ed & Muriel Clark with children, Bill, Brian and Janice

Margaret Cemetery Perpetual Fund joins Foundation

The Margaret Cemetery is a small rural resting place with a rich history dating back to the early settlers of the Margaret region with the first burial in 1888.

The Margaret Cemetery Perpetual Fund has been established for those who are interested in making a donation to assist in the upkeep and maintenance of the cemetery, whether it’s in memory of a loved one or on behalf of an organization or service group. The fund is managed through the Boissevain & Morton Foundation Inc.

Bernard Fast $525 Bursary presented annually

Bernard (Ben) Fast was born on April 6, 1924 in Tiegerweide, Russia to Katarina and Gerhard Fast. He immigrated with his family to Canada later that year. While attending  Boissevain High School he lived with family near Whitewater Lake and commuted to Boissevain by train which, in those days, stopped at the Cadzow station. After completing high school, he served with the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1942-1945. Following graduation from the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Engineering in 1950, he worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway as Deputy Regional Engineer Prairie Region. He met his future wife, Mary Patricia McGinnis at the CPR and they were married in 1970. He died in 2011.

 “My siblings and I remember Uncle Ben as the “cool” uncle who traveled to what seemed to us to be exotic places and brought us amazing presents. He was reserved, he loved to play golf, he was kind and thoughtful. He lived lightly on the earth,” recalls Margaret Fast.

Foundation gifted $10,000 from Anna Grace Diehl

Anna Grace (Wall) Diehl, the eldest child of a family of 13 attended school in Ninga, Manitoba. At 17 she embarked on a teaching career. She met her husband, Les Diehl, in 1957 and were were married in 1958. Together they had four children. When the last one was ready for kindergarten she returned to the workforce at the Boissevain Library. Over the years she had been a very large force in our volunteer community. To quote Anna Grace, “We do not live by bread alone. Our lives have been enriched by the opportunities for personal growth and involvement this rural community offers”. Anna Grace died in April 2019.

Foundation gifted $17,989 from Dora Ryan

Dora Ryan was a pioneeer resident of the Boissevain area. Raised on a farm, she moved to Boissevain after she married in 1942. She enjoyed looking after her yard, horseback riding, her dogs, and she was a great sports enthusiast. She worked at Pringles’ for many years. She appreciated being able to help at St. Paul’s United Church and was in charge of getting greeters for many years. She chose to leave her legacy to the Boissevain & Morton Foundation in a Field of Interest Fund for sports to be given out annually. She also enabled St. Paul’s United Church to create a Designated Fund for their operating.

Bob Barefoot Bursary

Bob Barefoot received his schooling in Boissevain, but by age 14 he realized his widowed mother could not afford to raise him, and left grade 10 to work on a farm for $5.00 a month. After serving in the Canadian Army overseas, he returned to Boissevain in 1955 and became a custodian at the school, a job he held until retirement. Although he had little formal education, he enjoyed reading, especially history. His daughter, Dr. Judy Barefoot wanted to give back to the community her family enjoyed growing up in. The W.R. Barefoot

scholarship is presented to deserving graduates achieving  academic excellence and continuing their education.

Foundation supports Moncur Gallery to add self guided audio tours

The Moncur Gallery wishes to thank the Foundation for approving the grant of $3642.45 for the purchase of equipment to provide self guided audio tours and training.  Since completion, visitors to the Gallery have used the audio tour equipment several times.

The financial contribution from the Foundation is recognized in the first clip on the audio tour.


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