Submitted. Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union, has deepened its community bonds through a major donation. The financial institution has announced a $50,000 contribution to Just Breathe, a fund created by youth actress Kaitlyn Bernard which supports Camp Goodtimes from the Canadian Cancer Society.
This significant gift is one of three $50,000 grants distributed by First West. A part of the credit union’s Simple Generosity initiative, inspired by Canada 150 celebrations, $150,000 will be reinvested in the heart of Canadian culture—local communities. A team of Envision Financial leaders and employees announced the news to Bernard and the Canadian Cancer Society this morning.
“Kaitlyn’s unique story is an inspiration to us all,” says David Lanphear, president at Envision Financial. “A Grade 11 student, she was inspired to create Just Breathe after starring as a child with terminal cancer in the film The Healer, and personally donated $15,000 to the cause—almost all of her earnings from the film. We are honoured to support Kaitlyn and this meaningful initiative that betters the lives of young people in our community.”
Based in Maple Ridge, Camp Goodtimes provides a unique and fun recreational experience for more than 400 children and teens affected by cancer and their families—including upwards of 200 young people from Fraser Valley communities alone. The money bestowed from Envision Financial will support the expansion of the Youth Council which facilitates positive peer-to-peer connections, enable the Year-Round Family Support Program to organize and fund additional events, and fund additional summer camp spots and travel assistance for kids and families.
“Receiving such a significant grant from the Envision Financial Simple Generosity initiative is enabling 16-year-old volunteer philanthropist Kaitlyn Bernard to make a meaningful difference for children, teens and families facing cancer,” explains Sandra Krueckl, Vice President, Cancer Control, Canadian Cancer Society, B.C. and Yukon. “We are so grateful that Kaitlyn has chosen our Camp Goodtimes program as the beneficiary of her Just Breathe initiative and the $50,000 grant she has received from Envision will go a long way towards ensuring more children and teens get to experience the magic of camp and enjoy a welcome escape from their battle with cancer.”
Bernard’s application for the $50,000 grant was one of 44 projects submitted by community non-profits, which were shortlisted during a four-week public voting period facilitated by Volinspire, a community engagement platform bringing together volunteers and community organizations. With more than 4,000 votes cast, the 10 most-voted submissions were assessed by a committee that included Lanphear among other Envision Financial employees, and MP John Aldag.
This substantial donation is one of three $50,000 grants distributed by First West’s Simple Generosity initiative. In addition, the 12-month program awards individuals or teams of volunteers each week with a $1,500 donation, courtesy of First West, to the non-profit of their choosing. In total, Envision Financial will donate more than $70,000 to local communities in 2017, to spread Simple Generosity.
About Envision Financial
Envision Financial is a premier provider of banking, investment and insurance services for residents and businesses throughout the Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland and Kitimat regions. As a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.’s third-largest credit union with 54 branches and 39 insurance offices throughout the province, Envision Financial brings innovative products, an extensive branch network and local decision making to the banking experience. Visit envisionfinancial.ca for more information.