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Boys and Girls Clubs receive boost

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JORDAN THOMPSON Enlarge Image

Three Boys and Girls Clubs in Winnipeg are about to benefit from a sizeable donation.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg will receive $71,600 from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), to go toward three clubs in the city as part of the bank’s After School Grants Project. The funding was announced Aug. 26.

The project is a multi-year philanthropic commitment to support community-based organizations which provide programs for children and youth aged six to 17 with structured, supervised activities which enhance safety, social skills and self-esteem.  

The Carpathia Club in Tuxedo, the Norquay Club in North Point Douglas, and the Aberdeen Club in the North End are the clubs benefitting this year.

The Carpathia Club was a pilot project that the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg started in September 2012. After a successful year they decided to apply for more funding because they saw the need. RBC promised three years of funding, starting with $40,000 in the first year.

"It’s been really successful," said Michelle Schmidt, director of programs for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg. "There’s probably been about 153 kids that went through the program that participated in different drop-in activities like sports, cooking and other registered programs like mad science, cooking club, and a basketball team —  all those skill building programs."

Schmidt said the kids came mostly from Tuxedo and River Heights.

"It’s a neighbourhood that is really diverse socially and economically," said Schmidt. "There are a lot of kids that live in the area that couldn’t go to programs because of financial reasons. So that’s where the Boys and Girls Clubs come in and let kids meet other kids in a safe place."

"RBC believes the best after-school programs complement and support the formal education students receive in the classroom," said Holly Toupin, RBC regional vice-president for central Winnipeg.  "When youth have a chance to participate in activities outside the classroom in a structured and safe environment, there can be marked improvement in their self-esteem and confidence, and that’s an investment we want to make in their lives."

Schmidt said RBC’s donation shows that people and corporations realize by giving back, they are making their communities better places.

RBC also encouraged its individual branches to get involved in the community with special projects and volunteering, said Schmidt.

"The people that work in the corporations live in these communities," said Schmidt. "If they help their community they make their communities better places to live. It’s good that corporations realize that they can make a difference."

The Norquay Club received $16,000 and the Aberdeen Club received $25,600 in
funding from the After School Grants Project.

Since 1999, RBC has provided more than $27 million in grants to 248 community-based, after-school programs in Canada, helping almost 29,000 children.


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