Our Beginnings

Our Beginnings

Written by Gerald Hawranik

A Community Foundation is a registered non-profit charitable organization that provides funds to other charitable non-profit groups in any community. One of the most difficult tasks of any non-profit group is to raise sufficient resources in order to carry on its purposes and goals. Non-profit groups provide essential services to our community that make our community a better place to live, to work, and to raise a family.

As an avid community volunteer and as a lawyer practicing law in Beausejour, I was aware that our non-profit groups in the Beausejour, Brokenhead, Tyndall, Garson areas were struggling to deliver services because of a lack of funds available to them. The only sources of funds were local government sources such as the Town of Beausejour, the RM of Brokenhead, as well as some Provincial and Federal grants, if they were available, and of course, the arduous task of fund raising. I felt that there should be another source of funds available to them, so I contacted and organized a group of interested, committed community volunteers to investigate the possibility of establishing a Community Foundation and to serve as members on our first Board of Directors.

It was a tremendous challenge, both in terms of raising funds for the Foundation to invest and in terms of creating awareness within our community with respect to our Foundation.

The name “Brokenhead River Community Foundation Inc.” was selected because it was felt that the name reflected the geographical area from which donations would be solicited and the area within which non-profits would benefit.

I contacted the Thomas Sill Foundation in Winnipeg to be included within its list of sponsored Community Foundations and our Community Foundation was approved. This was a tremendous opportunity for our Foundation, because under the Agreement, the Thomas Sill Foundation would provide 50 cents to our Foundation for every dollar we could raise within a 3 year period, to a maximum contribution of $100,000 from the Thomas Sill Foundation. This meant if our Foundation could raise $200,000 within 3 years, then the Thomas Sill Foundation would contribute $100,000 to our Foundation. This was a significant challenge for the Board of Directors of our Foundation, but through a great deal of hard work, we met and exceeded that challenge for the benefit of the community. We held casino nights, fundraising dinners, a crop plot fundraiser, and many other events in order to raise the money. Articles about our Foundation were submitted semi-monthly to raise the public’s awareness about the Foundation. We contacted business owners, residents of our community, and our local and provincial governments for financial support. All of this effort created awareness within our community about the goals, objectives and purposes of our Community Foundation.

It is gratifying when we see what the Foundation has done for our community – when we see the grants and support that is given year after year to our non-profit groups, and when we see the Scholarships that are given to deserving graduates of Edward Schreyer School. It is also gratifying when we see the Foundation supporting our Youth in Philanthropy group, because instilling a sense of charity and compassion in our young people can only benefit our community in the future.

All in all, the formation of and ensuring the success of the Brokenhead River Community Foundation Inc. was a tremendous challenge, but was also a very satisfying and gratifying experience. The future looks very bright for our Foundation and our community and we look forward to the continuing success and growth of both.

The first Board of Directors were as follows:

President – Gerald Hawranik
Vice-President – Linda Pleskach
Secretary – Vicky Witzke
Treasurer – Wilf Hastman
Directors – Bruce Schade
Fred Kazina
Art Berry
Karen Zink (June 98)
Gerry Denisiuk

New Website Launch

BRCF New Website Launch

The Brokenhead River Community Foundation is excited to announce the launch our new website! We always strive to be an accessible, innovative and transformative force in our community, and we believe this website will help fuel our mission to create lasting legacies to benefit the community of Beausejour/Brokenhead.

#BRCF#beausejourbrokenhead#beausejourmb#brokenheadmb#ourhomeyourhome#manitoba#community#communityfoundation#brokenheadrivercommunityfoundation#communitysupport#charity#endowmentfund#legacy#scholarships#bursaries#grants#donations#donatenow#communitygrants#brcfoundationBeausejour Brokenhead Development Corporation – BBDCRM of BrokenheadTown of Beausejour

Volunteers are the roots of strong communities

Volunteers are the roots of strong communities

The Brokenhead River Community Foundation is made up of a dedicated group of volunteers who believe in its purpose:

To promote philanthropy and provide volunteer help and financial resources to diverse local groups, community projects, and charities that are essential to the community, making it a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

Your Foundation is dedicated to inspiring and helping people of all backgrounds and means, creating lasting legacies to benefit the community of Beausejour/Brokenhead.

Want to get involved? Reach out to our Communications Coordinator, Hannah Lussier and learn how you can make a difference in your community.



A Message from a BRCF Scholarship Recipient

A Message from a BRCF Scholarship Recipient

“To be able to just put my attention towards my grades, I think is a huge luxury. So being provided with this luxury, I’d like to give a big thank you to the Brokenhead River Community Foundation for helping me get this far in my studies.”

Adhiraj was the winner of the Science Bursary from the Brokenhead River Community Foundation in 2017.  He received $800 toward his studies for his Bachelors of Science from the University of Winnipeg. He will be eligible to receive this bursary for up to four years of his science education. He was also the recipient of the $1000 scholarship from the foundation.

Congratulations Adhiraj!

Introducing Hannah Lussier, Communications and Marketing Coordinator

Introducing Hannah Lussier, Communications and Marketing Coordinator

The Brokenhead River Community Foundation would like to introduce Hannah Lussier as their new Communications and Marketing Coordinator. The Foundation is taking the next step in the evolution of the organization by developing a position to assist in its awareness and growth. In doing so, the Foundation will be able to better serve the organizations/groups and residents of the community.

The combination of Hannah’s background, skills, and enthusiastic work ethic make her an ideal candidate for the new position. Welcome aboard Hannah!

Sweet Success

Sweet Success

Reg Black happily receives an amazing donation from owner Scott Johannson and employees Harsimranjeet Kaur and Raquel Brandt at Tim Hortons in Beausejour.
This year the Smile Cookie event raised $5,466.34 for our Foundation. Many thanks to Tim Hortons and to everyone who purchased and enjoyed a Smile cookie during the week long promotion in September!

Stabilization Grants

Stabilization Grants

The Foundation, for the first time ever, offered Community Groups the opportunity to apply for Stabilization Grants this year. This new grant process is designed to help offset the operating costs due to lost revenues because of Covid-19. Below, Beausejour Curling Club (BCC) President Bruce Schade accepts funding from the Foundation to support the BCC.

Reg Black, President of the Brokenhead River Community Foundation, and Bruce Schade, President of the Beausejour Curling Club.

Foundation President Reg Black with The Breach Director Vanessa Kehler.  The Foundation was able to provide The Breach with funding from the Emergency Community Support Fund through the Community Foundations of Canada to support operational expenses at this community facility.

Ashely Seymour, ACL Director of Operations, accepts funding from Reg Black, President of the Brokenhead River Community Foundation.

The Emergency Community Support Fund was an initiative of the Federal Government to provide support to Communities affected by Covid-19.  Spearheaded by the Community Foundations of Canada, your Foundation was able to access funding on Phase 1 and Phase 2 of this program. The Association for Community Living (ACL) was awarded support in both Phases to go towards the purchase of a laptop for residents to communicate with family and towards the purchase of a van to assist in client needs.

Len Kowalke from the Brokenhead River Community Hall accepts funding from the Foundation.  The Hall was provided a Stabilization Grant to help offset ongoing expenses of the Hall.  Due to Covid-19 the Hall has no current revenues because they remain closed.  The Foundation was able to provide some relief from its annual fall granting.

Thank You

Thank You!

On behalf of the Board – and more importantly our Community – thank you to all those who made gifts to the Brokenhead River Community Foundation during the recent Giving Challenge. We are pleased to report that your donations over the week totaled $27,786.70!  With the additional bump up of $4,000 from The Winnipeg Foundation and the Province of Manitoba, the grand total is $31,786.70!! This is by far our best challenge yet!

The impact of this will be long lasting. These new funds raised are invested and never spent with just a portion of the interest going back into the Community annually.  The Foundation’s current spending policy is 4% so – without factoring growth of these funds – $1,271.47 goes back into the Community every year. Forever!

Senior Activity Booklets

Senior Activity Booklets

The Brokenhead River Recreation Commission, with support from the  Brokenhead River Community Foundation and the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund, assembled 150 activity kits for seniors who have been particularly affected by isolation due to Covid-19 in the Town of Beausejour and RM of Brokenhead, including Tyndall and Garson. We know these kits will provide some wonderful resources for activity and entertainment over the holidays and include holiday treats. Thank you to Brenda, Bonnie with the IERHA, the Beausejour Meditation Group and Brokenhead Outreach for Seniors for the help getting these kits together and distributed!  Also special thanks to Beausejour’s Post Office – the packages coming in for these kits were numerous and large!

Thank you to the Clipper Publishing Corp. for the printing of our activity booklets.  Thank you to Beausejour Coop, Beausejour Rexall and Beausejour Dollar Tree for helping with the large orders!

Thank goodness we got things done before restrictions were put in place!

Giving Challenge Week Donation

Giving Challenge Week Donation

Day 2 of Giving Challenge week and another great donation! Foundation Director Zane Hunter accepts a cheque from Melissa Marginet and Cpl. David Ogungbemi. The donated funds are from the former local Dare program. Thank you for the $5,826.51 donation! Please consider a donation this week to support your community.