Bill Bennet

Bill Bennet

$253,000 of gaming grants given to Williams Lake charities

Four Williams Lake community organizations received $253,000 in gaming grants last week.

Four community organizations received a total of $253,000 in community gaming grants last week. Bill Bennett, minister of community sports and cultural development met with the recipients at the Child Development Centre on Second Avenue for a round table discussion to make the announcement and hear what the recipients have to offer the community.

“Part of my ministry includes giving away money, which in today’s fiscal climate is kind of rare. I think I’m one of the ministers that has a ministry that still has money in it. As long as people gamble and buy lottery tickets we’ll be OK,” Bennett said.

The community gaming program was reduced for about almost two years, however, when Christy Clark won the leadership and became premier, one of the very first things she did was re-established the community gaming fund to its original level, something that Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett fully supported, Bennett said.

He’d been in the Cariboo a few days on tour with Barnett to help celebrate community gaming grants in Quesnel and 100 Mile House as well as Williams Lake.

“When you see the things that the money buys, it really is a tremendous program. If I had my druthers, I’d enhance it and try to add more to it if it was possible. I know that the money each of your organizations receive will do lots of good things,” Bennett told the recipients.

The grants included $25,000 to the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society, $75,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Williams Lake, $60,000 to the Central Cariboo Hospice Palliative Care Society and $93,500 to the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre Association.

Lorraine Levitt executive director for Big Brothers Big Sisters told Bennett she was extremely relieved to receive the grant.

“After the last year or two of uncertainty, this has been an exciting and surprising announcement,” Levitt said, adding she was relieved to see the short form of the application for gaming has been released.

Hospice society executive director Kate McDonough described her organization as “really small” and very appreciative of gaming funds that helped fund two palliative rooms and a family room at Deni House.

Diana French, chair of the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society said her organization has been active since the 1990s when regions were developing land use management plans.

“We have a wide variety of interests— water specifically, and encouraging people to be water and waste wise. School programs are one of the main things we do and gaming funds help us continue to be active.”

CCCDCA executive director Nancy Gale said gaming grants have helped fund her organization’s activities for a long time.

“We’ve been around for 35 years and just did some renovations to the front of our building. One of the young tradesmen that came in here put his hands on his hip, looked up, and said, ‘it’s just smaller than I remember.’ We not only have kids, but we have grandkids that are coming to the CDC now,” Gale said.

The money will also help with the CDC’s outreach.

“This time in the gaming application we noted that crime prevention is a component so we’re trying to do some work in that area. If we know that we’ve got a youth that’s criminally involved and there are young kids in the family that are exposed then we’re hoping with this new infusion of gaming dollars we’ll be able to work more closely with the RCMP and make that connection between services that we provide and the community to find some ways to address those issues,” Gale said.

Mayor Kerry Cook said all of the recipients provide leadership in the community year after year and truly make a difference.

Levitt asked Bennett whether there will be a return to three-year funding terms for organizations, and heard he prefers the idea of the longer term.

“It would be a government policy change and I cannot make that on my own or make any promises, but I understand that it’s difficult to plan and it’s also an issue of being stressed not knowing if you’re going to have money from year to year,” Bennett said, adding the gaming program is “grossly oversubscribed,” receiving more applications for funds than there is money.

“It doesn’t hurt to have an MLA that’s bird-dogging the applications and finding out what their constituents have applied for,” Bennett added.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson speaking in the legislature Monday, May 10. (Video screen shot)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA calls for rural infrastructure renewal fund

Lorne Doerkson said central parts of rural B.C. devastated by flooding, crumbling infrastructure

(File photo)
Firearms offence at McLeese Lake tree planting camp under RCMP investigation

On May 10 Williams Lake RCMP were called to the camp, located at the 2200 block of Beaver Lake Rd.

Lil Mack has been a member of Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy since its inception. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Lil Mack of Williams Lake honoured with BC Achievement Community Award

Mack has been an ever-present, quietly powerful literacy force in Williams Lake for several decades

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) announced Tuesday, May 11 that all washrooms on its Kamloops and Williams Lake campuses will have free menstrual products by September. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
TRU to provide free hygiene products in all washrooms by fall 2021

“By signing the United Way’s Promise campaign, TRU aims to reduce barriers facing some students.”

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

Most Read