Bayer Fund

Farmer pays it forward to kids’ educational program



CALS Vegreville 3Vegreville, Alberta – After the Community Association for Lasting Success (CALS) provided speech therapy to Wesley Antonchuk’s son, he knew he wanted to pay it back.

“He progressed so quickly with the assistance of their amazing teachers… I believe this program would be as beneficial to many of the community’s children as The Head Start program was so beneficial to mine,” Antonchuk said.  CALS Vegreville 2

So, when he came across the Canada’s Farmers Grow Communities (CFGC) Program, he immediately nominated the local not-for-profit organization. And when CFGC reached out, announcing they’d selected CALS as one of their $2,500 grant recipients — he couldn’t believe it.

“I had to read the email twice to make sure it was what it was,” the grain farmer said. “I was very excited.”

Dee Palichuk, CALS’ Early Intervention Coordinator, was equally as surprised.CALS Vegreville 4

“There was a bit of disbelief at first but when realization set in, I was very happy, appreciative and very honoured,” she said.

The grant allowed CALS to continue offering programming that relies solely on grants and donations, such as their School Snack program and the Breakfast Club program, which feeds approximately 700 children four times per week, Palichuk said.

“I can’t thank CFGC enough for supporting our organization and strengthening the lives of the children and families that participate in our programming,” she said.

Antonchuk encourages other farmers to participate in CFGC and support their local not-for-profits.

“A little goes a long way,” he said.