Spirit cash to Coquitlam groups

Coquitlam city council is expected to award $200,529 in casino funding tonight (Monday) for community non-profits.

Coquitlam city council is expected to dole out more than $200,000 in gaming grants to non-profit groups tonight (Monday).

But it also plans to tuck aside some $52,000 for a national contest to make the city's streets and parks prettier.

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City council is set to allocate a total of $252,529 in Spirit cash for sports, service and cultural organizations as well as for Coquitlam's entry into the Communities in Bloom competition. According to a staff report, the contest funding will be used to buy materials such as self-watering planters, plants and toy libraries.

Last year, Coquitlam was the provincial winner of Communities in Bloom, earning a "Five Bloom" accolade and an overall score of 88% from the judges for its tidiness, environmental action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscaping and floral displays. The city wants to defend its title as it celebrates its 125th anniversary this year (judges will be touring Coquitlam on July 20 and 21).

City staff say of the 29 Spirit of Coquitlam applications received for the spring intake, worth a combined $377,968, a total of $200,529 has been recommended for council approval:

• 1st Ranch Park Scouts: $2,998 (derby)
• Diwali Celebration Society: $4,926 (festival)
• Glen Pine 50 Plus Society: $4,296 (multicultural festival)
• Gujarati Society of BC: $6,289 (diamond ball)
• Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau: $6,000 (toy run)
• Rivershed Society of BC: $341 (FraserFest)
• Riverview Horticultural Centre Society: $1,765 (Treefest)
• Terry Fox Foundation: $5,237 (Coquitlam September run)
• Terry Fox Foundation: $5,078 (April training run)
• United Scottish Cultural Society: $19,043 (BC Highland Games)
• U19 World Lacrosse Society: $782 (men's championships)
• Hyacks Swim Club: $3,600 (final invitational swim meet)
• Fraser North Volunteer Community Connections: $5,355 (immigrant and refugee youth summer volunteering)
• Kateslem Youth Society: $3,008 (Life Skills through Cooking and Baking)
• West Coast Family Centres: $2,830 (Tri-Cities literacy)
• Coquitlam Amateur Radio Emergency Services Society: $30,869 (upgrade equipment)
• Coquitlam Minor Football and Cheer: $1,303 (equipment)
• Coquitlam Minor Hockey Association: $8,650 (initiation program support)
• Coquitlam Moody Ringette: $8,275 (Come and Try Ringette)
• Fraser Pacific Rose Society: $2,985 (Centennial Rose Garden)
• Kinsmen Club of Coquitlam: $73,100 (equipment)
• St. John Ambulance Society: $3,799 (equipment)

The Spirit of Coquitlam grant program was created as a result of the municipality playing host to the casino on United Boulevard. Of the approximately $8 million the city receives each year from the venue — a 10% cut of net profits — Coquitlam sets aside 12.5% for local charitable groups while the balance pays for capital projects and infrastructure.

At last fall's intake, city council in December awarded $235,660 in Spirit grants.

jwarren@tricitynews.com

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