By Meg Olson
A California charitable organization has awarded over $150,000 in grants to local organizations.
Thanks to a connection with a local seasonal resident, the board of the Helen and Jose Colton Foundation visited Point Roberts in July for a week, according to local foundation spokesman Hugh Wilson. “They like to find communities where they can really get the most bang for their buck and Point Roberts fit the bill,” Wilson said. The foundation’s mandate is to fund causes that support children, animal welfare, seniors and veterans.
The Point Roberts Volunteer Firefighter’s Charitable Foundation received a grant for $60,000. “The majority of the grant will be used to purchase and disperse new automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) and cardiac monitors,” said fire chief Christopher Carleton.
One AED will be added at Umpqua Bank and several older models throughout the community will be replaced with new ones, Carleton said. “They are fully automatic units so they can be used by a person with no training.” The grant will also purchase a new LifePack15, a cardiac monitor and defibrillator used by emergency medical personnel.
The Point Roberts Emergency Preparedness group received a grant for $40,000, most of which they received as a non-profit on behalf of the local parks and recreation district. PREP will use approximately $4,000 of the funds for a storage container while $36,000 will be directed to an upgrade of the kitchen at the community center.
“They liked our kitchen upgrade plan and it supports their mandate to help seniors,” said Point Roberts Park and Recreation District board member Stephen Falk at their July 8 meeting. The funds will be used primarily to replace aging appliances and fixtures in the kitchen, making it more useable for the senior’s nutrition program. “This is phase one for us,” said board member Bennett Blaustein. “Our understanding is they will be back next year,” to look at further improvements to the center. “One of the things being teased about is an electrified shed behind the building for the food bank.”
The Point Roberts Food Bank received a $5,000 grant to help them acquire refrigeration equipment and develop a central location for food storage. “We are now using the grocery store for storing perishables and it becomes unwieldy,” said food bank representative Henry Rosenthal.
Circle of Care also received a grant for $55,000. “We are actively in search of a wheelchair accessible van with a focus on getting people to and from their medical appointments,” said board member Galen Wood. “In addition, we can help in getting people to and from senior lunches, or even to wonderful events in Delta or Vancouver.”
Wood said they were looking forward to continuing to work with the foundation to improve the quality of life of local seniors and disabled residents. “I don’t think this will be the last time we see them,” she said. “I think we will see them next year and in the future to check on how we are doing and offer their help. They are an amazing group of people with very big hearts.”