Grants, new fund, new name as foundation turns 15

The Pembroke Petawawa District Community Foundation held their annual general meeting on June 10, 2024 and there was plenty of good news on the agenda. In addition to the annual disbursement of community grants, the Foundation also unveiled a new partnership with the Renfrew County Ontario Winter Games committee and announced a change to its name.

Annual General Meeting review

Barry’s Bay lawyer, Matt Bradley, who is chair of the Foundation, noted several accomplishments for the organization in 2023. They included contributing to the St. Joseph’s Food Bank from The Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception’s designated fund which was established in 2022. The arboretum at the Pembroke Waterfront was also completed in 2023, and the Foundation was a partner in this project. In addition, events such as the Jason Blaine Charity Golf Fundraiser, the Krista Johnson Memorial Run and the 100 Women campaign, with established funds with the Foundation, were all successful this year.

The Foundation also facilitated a special federal grant – the Community Services Recovery Fund – which saw $225,000 distributed in Renfrew County through this national program, which came through the connection with the Community Foundations of Canada.

Funds invested with the Foundation saw a growth rate of 4.89 per cent. The Foundation has 22 established funds with a total value of more than $734,000, with additional funds pledged from local individuals.

Above: representatives of community organization recipients. (Photo submitted)

Grant Recipients

The Foundation delivers annual grants to charitable organizations as part of their annual general meeting activities. For 2024, $26,513.13 was granted to the following recipients:

  • $2,363.13 to The Grind for the Valley Warriors hockey program is to ensure that children aged 5-12 of all abilities are encouraged to participate in community hockey regardless of playing ability or financial circumstances.
  • $2,100.00 to the St. Francis Valley Healthcare Foundation for the purchase of a Hovermatt, which helps transfer patients from stretcher to x-ray table.
  • $2,500.00 to the Robbie Dean Family Counselling Centre to start a program designed for vulnerable adults who struggle with mild to low moderate anxiety and depression, and grief after experiencing a loss.
  • $2,000.00 to the Pembroke Regional Hospital Foundation to purchase a thyroid uptake system.
  • $4,350.00 to Pflag Canada – Renfrew County to partner with Nourish U Wellness for a six-week wellness and resilience program for 2SLGBTQ+ youth and adults.
  • $2,000.00 to the Ontario SPCA Renfrew County’s neuter scooter program, providing transportation and access to spay, neuter and wellness services to the most vulnerable animals.
  • $1,150.00 to the Madawaska Valley Public Library for a series of weekly workshops that focus on challenges for young people including low self-esteem, stress/anxiety, low motivation, and dealing with bullying.
  • $2,000.00 to the Laurentian Valley Four Seasons Trail for their disc golf program.
  • $1,000.00 to First Step Options Pregnancy Resource to educate and empower women through the online lesson platform called BrightCourse.
  • $2,250.00 to the Eganville and District Senior Citizens’ Needs Association for four free community dinners to support families and individuals within the community who are in most need.
  • $2,000.00 to Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley for the installation of surveillance cameras and to support individuals in need in the community to pursue their interests.
  • $1,000.00 to Carefor Health & Community Services to replace furniture with senior-friendly, ergonomic options.
  • $800.00 to Whitewater Seniors Home Support and Active Living Centre to provide monthly hot meals to those in need.
  • $500.00 to Madawaska Valley Hospice Palliative Care to host a family grief camp.
  • $500.00 to Arnprior-Braeside-McNab Braeside Seniors at Home Program to enhance their annual memorial butterfly release event.

“What is so interesting about giving back is that a small amount of money can have a great impact,” says Bradley. “The causes people are working on in our community are important.”

Foundation name change

Since its inception in 2008, the Foundation has been known as the Pembroke Petawawa District Community Foundation. As those who established funds and benefited from grants increased, the board of directors started to notice the more regional impact it was having. That prompted the pursuance of a name change to better reflect the Foundation’s impact. As of 2024, the organization will be known as the Ottawa Valley Community Foundation.

Above: 2024 OVCF Board members. (Photo submitted.)

“The idea for the foundation started in 2007 when we started to see a decline in service clubs, the closing of charitable offices and the realization that governments cannot do it all,” said Bradley. “We are one of 207 community foundations across Canada and are part of a growing movement to support local communities.”

“All the funds raised through the foundation stay locally,” he continued. “When you see the impact and emotion of our grant recipients, it’s very moving. It’s not hard to stay motivated.”

Joining Bradley on the board of directors include Fred Blackstein, Shelley Murphy, Hilary Moss, Kim Chenard, Shannon Fraser, Brian Mulvihill and Yves Roy. The Foundation is supported by community liaison Jamie Berry.

Winter Games partnership

The 2023 Ontario Winter Games were held in Renfrew County, and after all expenses were met, there was a surplus of $375,000 remaining. The news of the surplus was delivered virtually by Renfrew County Olympian Melissa Bishop-Nriagu.

“I am so, so proud of our community for hosting this event,” said Bishop-Nriagu. “I’m so excited and honoured that the Ottawa Valley Community Foundation will be awarded this money. I would have been someone who applied for those funds.”

The funds will be invested with the Foundation and will be put towards supporting a variety of initiatives in sport for local clubs and individuals.

About The Foundation

The Ottawa Valley Community Foundation was established as a public charity to benefit the community by providing funds to other registered charities, local groups and organizations that are also registered under the Income Tax Act. The Foundation exists to inspire generosity and to assist donors in meeting the community’s greatest needs. Donations to the Foundation are pooled and invested through present or deferred gifts, and allocated to the community fund or a designated fund. More information can be found on the Foundation website at

Berry,J.,Community Liaison OVCF(2024,June17) Community Foundation Delivers Big News at Annual General Meeting Grants, a new fund and a new name mark the Foundation’s 15th year [media release]

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