Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta doles out the dough at annual Fall Gala celebration

By Tim Kalinowski


The Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta recently handed out $290,000 in grant funding during its fall gala on Dec. 4. Most of those grants went to organizations and service groups in need in rural areas surrounding Lethbridge.

Four groups received Henry S. Varley Fund for Rural Life grant, including Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta based in Pincher Creek, $25,000, the Foothills Special Needs Association for Parents and Siblings for programs based in the Claresholm area, $6,000, the Chinook Regional Foundation for Career Transitions for rural career exploration, $15,000, and the Parkinsons Association of Alberta to help expand outreach services to more rural communities, $8,000.

Rick Clark, president of the Pincher Creek Elks who helped spearhead the Habitat for Humanity initiative in his community, paid tribute to Henry Varley, the Pincher Creek and Fishburn area rancher for whom the fund was named.

“This is an amazing opportunity to be here with you to receive this grant on behalf of the first build in Pincher Creek,” said Clark. “Some in our community knew Henry Varley, I personally did not, but I knew his nephew Jack, and we raised our kids together.”

Clark, who also gave credit to the seven local organizations which combined to raise money for the Habitat for Humanity build, said the $25,000 would be put to good use to provide two affordable homes for families in need in the Pincher Creek area.

“The generous grant from the Henry S. Varley Fund for Rural Life gets us all that much closer to supporting two families in rural Alberta to own their own home,” he said in his comments at the gala event. “A home where they can raise their families and grow up in the same neighbourhood, have forever friends and attend the same school year after year. Our community benefits when all families prosper and have a sense of belonging. We are grateful for this (Community Foundation) support, and we gratefully acknowledge the support from the Henry Varley Fund.”

“The Henry Varley Fund grant is for $25,000, which puts us just $5,000 short of our target (of  $75,000),” he added. “We’re happier than a pig in poop.”

27 organizations received grants  from the Community Foundation’s “Community Priorities Fund.”


Arrowwood Restoration Society, $4,000

Blackfoot Family Lodge Society, $13,939

Canadian Mental Health Association, Alberta South Region, $15,000

Cardston Junior High School, $7,000

Coalhurst Parks and Recreation Society, $10,000

Coutts Municipal Library, $8,500

Dr. Gerald B. Probe Elementary School, Lethbridge, $10,000

Family Centre Society of Southern Alberta, $6,000

Father Leonard Van Tighem School, Lethbridge, $7,500

Friends of the Claresholm & District Museum Society, $5,000

Harbour House School, Lethbridge, $2,370

John Davidson School, Coaldale, $7,500

Lethbridge and District Music and Speech Arts Festival Society, $6,000

Lethbridge Family Services, $10,000

Lethbridge Pregnancy Care Centre, $2,500

Lethbridge Symphony, $13,360

Oldman River Antique Equipment and Threshing Club, $8,500

Pincher Creek & District Agricultural Society, $10,000

Prairie Winds Clubhouse Society, $10,000

Shaughnessy Community Association, $15,000

Taber Food Bank Society, $10,000

Town of Taber, $10,000

Town of Vauxhall, $15,000

Vulcan Lions Club, $15,000

Vulcan Spock Days Committee, $3,500

Willow Creek Ag Society, $10,000

Wilson Middle School, Lethbridge, $5,000