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2015 Mini Grants

panoramicCentre Wellington Community Foundation held our annual Community Gathering on Monday June 15th, in the Nicholas Keith Room at the Wellington County Museum and Archives. During the gathering we unveiled our fourth contingent of ten projects that received Mini-Grants this year.

Randall Howard, our Board Chair, provided a short update on the Foundation. Erin Pratley, our Vital Signs project manager, shared news and details about this exciting and important community initiative. Following the Vital Signs presentation, and with great delight, we capped off the evening by awarding ten Mini-Grants to members of our community who are championing important work. Grant recipients explained their programs, discussed how the Mini-Grant will be used and shared stories from their projects.

Grants this year came from Kathie Hammond Literacy Fund, Kate and Margot Community Fund, Cedarcliff Fund, and the Community Fund We are pleased to be able to support these projects, a diverse and innovative cross section, highlighting our community at its best.


(The fund was established to celebrate the life and passions of Kathie Hammond. Money from this fund is used to encourage and support children and learning.)

DSC_8556Organization: Upper Grand Learning Foundation/James McQueen Public School
Project: Levelled Reader Book Set
Area of Priority: Education

The grant is to improve children’s literacy. The funding was used to purchase leveled reading books for the school’s at home reading program. The books are at an age appropriate level in both French and English. The goal of this program being to increase the literacy of every student in the school.

Research shows the value of Early Literacy and reading programs. Our overall goal is to increase parent/community involvement and to offer more resources that are at an age appropriate level in both English and French.


(Supporting a broad range of charitable activities in which financial grants from the Fund are leveraged by other support, including through significant volunteer commitment, to such charitable activities.)
DSC_8561Organization: Fergus Horticultural Society
Project: Templin Gardens Way-Finding Signs
Area of Priority: Community Betterment
Templin Gardens is a Fergus treasure, tucked behind the downtown main street and on the north side of the Grand River. The Fergus Horticultural Society has taken responsibility for maintaining Templin Gardens since the 1990s. The grant will help create way-finding signage which includes three separate signs from three directions and a story board outlining the historical significant of Templin Gardens.
DSC_8565Organization: Community Resource Centre of North & Centre Wellington
Project: Let Kids Play
Area of Priority: Children, Youth and Recreation

The Let Kids Play program provides funding to assist families with the cost of equipment needed for them to fully participate in recreational activities. Our program enables parents to access funding toward the cost of equipment through our Outreach Workers. Eligible families may access up to $200 per child, per year.

We hope to enable as many children as possible in Centre Wellington to fully participate in recreational activities. We know that children benefit from such experiences socially, emotionally, and physically. Our vision is a community where every member has the opportunity to succeed, and this program fits well within that vision.


(This fund provides dollars to develop and maintain arts and culture in Centre Wellington. Grants may support operating and/or capital costs of organizations located or performing/showing in the Centre Wellington area.) 

DSC_8567Organization: Fergus BIA
Project: Love Lock Sculpture
Area of Priority: Arts and Culture

The Love Lock Sculpture is part of the second phase of improvements to James Square in Fergus. The Ontario Artist Blacksmith Association have graciously offered their time to create a hand forged work to add to the appeal of this space The grant was used to cover the cost of material to create a hand forged gateway for James Square in keeping with the historical and stories of the space.in Fergus


DSC_8572Organization: Emmanuel Christian School
Project: Music Chimes Program
Area of Priority: Arts and Culture

We are excited that the Music Room in the basement of the high school will be fully restored for the music program. The grant is being used toward the purchase of a set of chimes. The chime set will encourage and foster a great love for music in our community. It will be a good teaching tool for the students through the music lessons and when they compete at festivals such as the Kiwanis Festival.

The Chime set will also enrich the sound of the school orchestra and benefit all audiences during their performances. These performances, which are open to the public, include our spring and Christmas concerts and our semi-annual drama production. The chimes will be a worthwhile investment for many years to come.

DSC_8569Organization: Township of Centre Wellington – Elora Fergus Tourism
Project: Centre Wellington Cultural Resource Centre
Area of Priority: Arts and Culture

During the development of the Township of Centre Wellington’s Cultural Action Plan, community and cultural groups communicated a long term need for the widespread sharing of resources and a willingness to partner. Responding to this need and a natural evolution of work already being done, EFT is taking the lead on a concept supporting community and cultural groups in their delivery of self-sustaining successful events while promoting increased collaboration and sharing. It is the Centre Wellington Cultural Resource Centre (The Centre).

Elora Fergus Tourism is in the process of purchasing a Sea Container to be used at the Centre. The Centre would be a space where resources to be shared will be securely stored; insured and maintained and will offer space for a library of resources and to meet for consultation on event planning and success. The Centre will be housed at the Elora Public Works Yard. Additional resources will be stored at the Elora Information Centre.


(This is our core non-restricted fund which is able to grant to a broad range of worthy causes in our community. As such, this fund is a great choice for those wishing to fund the widest spectrum of community initiatives)
DSC_8558Organization: Guelph Children’s Foundation
Project: The Sunshine Squad
Area of Priority: Youth and Recreation

As the needs of the community continue to grow, so too does the reach of the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington (CFGW). In 2014, we identified a need to participate in more outreach opportunities in the County, and Centre Wellington in particular, in order to increase awareness of our programs. For example, in our Free to Play Program only 8% of the children funded in 2014 came from Centre Wellington. We want to see those numbers increase.

With limited staff resources, we recognize there are many outreach opportunities we are not able to participate in and so in early 2015, we created a “Sunshine Squad” of elite volunteers to represent the Children’s Foundation at outreach events.

The Sunshine Squad is a group of dedicated volunteers who are experienced and enlightening ambassadors for the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington in the community. The grant is being used to support The Sunshine Squad volunteers outreach program. These volunteer greatly increase the number of outreach events the Children’s Foundation can attend.


DSC_8562Organization: Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Centre Wellington
Project: Go Girls!
Area of Priority: Social Services

Go Girls! Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds

Go Girls! is a group mentoring program for girls ages 12-14 that focuses on physical activity, balanced eating and self-esteem. The single, most important goal of the program is to positively shape the lives of young women and girls by helping them build a positive self-image – setting them on a path to reach their full potential in life.

DSC_8574Organization: Community Resource Centre of North & Centre Wellington
Project: Fergus-Elora District SoccerSpecial Needs Soccer Festival
Area of Priority: Recreation/Social Services

In 2010 we started a very unique soccer program for adults (16 years old and up) with special needs from our local community and from around Centre Wellington. This program is very unique not only in our community but also in Ontario.

In 2013 we created another unique even: the Special Needs Soccer Festival. We invite groups like ours from Halton Hills and Kitchener to join our group for a day of soccer, games, face-painting, clowns, food and drinks and live entertainment.

This year we are planning a similar type of festival as the previous years. We are hoping to expand the involvement of our community in the event and hope to give expanded exposure to our sponsors, CW and local businesses. We are planning to have a new tent called the “Sponsors and Community Tent. In this tent we would the providing additional exposure to Centre Wellington, sponsors and local businesses.

DSC_8577Organization: Upper Grand Learning Foundation/John Black Public School
Project: Social Networking Safety Education Program
Area of Priority: Education

This is an initiative of the John Black School Parent Council. The project is a guest speaker who will present on the topic of Social Networking Safety. During the day there will be 2 age appropriate presentations for the grade 4- 6 students and grade 7 – 8 students. talk will then take place in the evening for parents to attend. By speaking to both children and parents the message can be discussed more thoroughly at home as well as at school. This is a very important subject matter for parents, students and educators to get a clear understanding of the ramifications that social media has on youth and how to keep them safe. It is a daily topic in the news these days and we need to be informed. There will be about 4 -5 volunteers who will be needed to help with setting up the auditorium, manning the tea, coffee and snack table, and Emceeing the lecture, We are hoping to invite another feeder school of grade 4 6 students to attend as Well and would encourage parents from other schools in the community.