Dear Editor:

As the chairman of the Columbia Valley Community Foundation, I was very happy to read Mr. Thompsons letter (December 16th edition) regarding his familys wish, as Calgary residents, to support organizations in the valley, and that he went through the effort of finding out about the registered charities that exist in Invermere.

The Columbia Valley Community Foundation is now a decade old and has assets endowment funds for the most part in the range of $800,000. The foundation has provided small community grants totalling $270,000 to projects up and down the valley from Spillamacheen to Canal Flats.

With the roller coaster economy we find ourselves in, charitable organizations have become more necessary. At the same time, with people worried about their personal finances, it is more difficult for charities to attract donors.

The founding members of the Columbia Valley Community Foundation were our neighbours who believed in their community and in community foundations, and in the vision that the work they started in the year 2000 would create an organization that would remain in the community in perpetuity for good, forever.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Thompson for his belief in investing in the valley for the good of the valley. Thank you to all the donors and visionaries that have made the foundation what it is today. In terms of the life cycle of a community foundation, it is only in its infancy. Charitable organizations, non-profits and volunteerism are what make our community tick. Kudos to all.

For more information about the foundation, please visit our website,

Seona Helmer

Chairman, Columbia Valley Community Foundation