When Mary Lou Bourne opened an email from Monsanto a few years ago, she received a surprise worth $2,500. Bourne, secretary and manager of the Teeswater Agricultural Society in Teeswater, ON, had just received notice that her organization was awarded a Canada’s Farmers Grow Communities (CFGC) grant.
“It’s amazing. I’ve been telling everyone that a farmer made it possible,” said Bourne.
The CFGC program allows farmers to nominate non-profits in their area. Local farmer Peter Van Zeeland chose the Teeswater Agricultural Society, a non-profit that has itself helped other non-profits raise money for more than 160 years.
“We try to support as many other community organizations as we can,” said Bourne.
And, for Bourne, that often means helping other non-profits first, leaving their own projects on the backburner. The grant from CFGC allowed them to accomplish a long-held goal to install safety upgrades to the community’s grandstand, which seats nearly half the town’s population during the annual Teeswater Fair.
“We were just ecstatic,” said Bourne. “It was a great boost to our organization.”