Community organizations in race for Aviva funds

Justin Crann
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YMCA, Humane Society seeking cash awards

The Moose Jaw Humane Society is looking to replace its older, damaged cages with funds awarded by the competition.

Two community organizations are seeking the support of Moose Javians in the 2012 Aviva Community Fund Competition.

The YMCA of Moose Jaw has applied under the medium budget ($50,000 to $100,000) category in order to expand facilities, and the Moose Jaw Humane Society has applied for a small budget (up to $50,000) to purchase new cages for its cats.

“We’re planning to expand and do an addition on our existing Strong Start Family Centre building,” said Corinne Damaskie, the communications and funds development coordinator with the Moose Jaw YMCA.

The YMCA is looking to design an indoor play space without barriers so that children with and without disabilities can play in the centre. The size of the expansion will depend on how much money the proposal is awarded.

While the proposal has had some support and Damaskie is hopeful, it needs more to succeed.

“Support is good, but we need it to be better,” she said, noting that the proposal didn’t have enough votes to make it through the initial rounds of voting, but it has been given a second chance.

Meanwhile, the Humane Society is looking to replace some of the old cat cages in its shelter.

“If we’re successful, we’re hoping to be able to purchase 20 new cages for our cats,” said Karla Pratt, fundraising and promotions coordinator at the Humane Society. 

Pratt emphasized the need to replace some of the shelter’s existing 24 cages, with a particular focus on the large wooden cages that are aging and falling apart.

“A lot of them had shelves that have fallen apart and rotted off,” she said, “While they (the cats) are having fun with it, it’s not the best... it’s not something we want to put up with.” 

Support for the Humane Society has been “really strong in Moose Jaw and quite far afield,” owing in part to their unofficial mascot, Fat Boy, a formerly overweight cat whose diet efforts have been publicized by the Humane Society.

“Fat Boy has acquired quite a fan following,” Pratt said, “not only in Saskatchewan, but also abroad.”

According to Pratt, the Humane Society’s Facebook page has increased from 161 followers last July to more than 2,300, largely because of their chronicling of Fat Boy’s progress. 

Voting resumes for the Moose Jaw Humane Society’s proposal in the semifinal round in early December. Moose Javians can cast their vote of support daily for the YMCA proposal by searching for ACF14813 on the Aviva Community Fund website. Voting is free and only requires an e-mail address.


Organizations: Humane Society, YMCA, Aviva Community Fund

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

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