In its 100th year of operation, the Cranbrook Rotary Club has donated $44,000 thanks to funds raised through the club’s virtual bingo night.

The money is being split among eight different local groups, including a $10,000 donation to the Cranbrook Food Bank.

“The Cranbrook Rotary Club has always supported organizations in the community, things like helping to house vulnerable citizens, supporting kids and seniors, investing in arts and sports and building trails,” said Club President Leanne Jensen. “We looked at the list of requests for donations and wanted to choose a wide diversity of groups we could help to benefit everyone in our city.”

The money was raised through the Club’s weekly Rotary Community Bingo, held every Friday for the last several months.

Jensen said the idea for bingo night came from the Golden Rotary Club as a way for people to have an activity during closures caused by COVID-19 regulations.

“Golden opened it up to the other clubs in B.C. and I think there are about 14 or 15 clubs that are a part of it now. The community that has formed online has really been wonderful, there are people that truly look forward to Friday night,” explained Jensen.

Donation money will go to the following organizations:

  • Boys and Girls Club of Cranbrook – $4,000:
    • The donation will go towards the Youth Impact Program, which invites local youngsters to be a part of the greater community with supervision and programs that challenge youth in their social, emotional, and physical development.
  • Cranbrook Community Forrest Society – $2,000:
    • Money will be used to help pay for new forest trail maps, which will include new and upgraded trails.
  • Key City Theatre Society – $5,000:
    • Funds will be used to help pay for new stage curtains and the related electronics.
  • Cranbrook Food Bank – $10,000:
    • The donation will be used to either buy a new refrigerated delivery cube van or to pave their parking lot.
  • Cranbrook History Centre – $10,000:
    • Money will go to pay for the necessary equipment for the Royal Alexandra Hall, particularly a replacement food cooler and other catering kitchen equipment.
  • East Kootenay Foundation for Health – $10,000:
    • Funding will go to help pay for a blood bank fridge.
  • Bellies to Babies – $1,000:
    • Funds will be used to buy infant car seats for families in need.
  • Cranbrook Bucks Fan CLub – $2,000:
    • The club will use its donation to purchase new ice-mats for anthem singers, ceremonial pick drops and other events. “Past President Bill Bennett, when he was MLA, once slipped and fell on the mats to centre Ice at a Kootenay Ice playoff game and is pleased with this purchase,” said Rotary Club officials.