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New CFKR endowment fund aims to support health care and education

The Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies has unveiled its newest endowment fund: the Jim and Delphine (Bella) Kennelly Legacy Fund.

CFKR officials said the fund will support health care and education programs, initiatives, and special projects in Cranbrook and Fernie.

“The Jim and Delphine (Bella) Kennelly Legacy Fund has been created to celebrate and acknowledge a lifetime of community service and leadership in local commerce by both Jim and Delphine, in Cranbrook as well as Fernie,” said CFKR officials. “Throughout their lifetimes and through the amazing examples of their own parents, they dedicated a great deal of time to education, healthcare, municipal governance, and catholic parishes in the area, where they raised their family and developed their businesses.”

CFKR officials said Jim and Delphine (Bella) Kennelly have been active and generous community members throughout their lives.

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“Delphine Bella was born in Fernie, where her multilingual mother served her community in many ways and inspired her children to do the same. As a busy mother of ten children, Delphine made time for her own community service, with a focus on healthcare and education. When the children were young, she was the school pianist at St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School in Cranbrook,” said CFKR officials. “Then, as more time became available, she served on the East Kootenay Community College Board of Governors, Cranbrook Hospital Board, Cranbrook Hospital Auxiliary Board, and the Cranbrook Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store volunteer team. These are just a few of the ways that Delphine supported the development of Cranbrook, where she still resides.

“Jim Kennelly, who passed away in 2020, centred his life around his family, his Catholic faith, and his community. He became a respected leader in the local business community through multiple enterprises, including Kennelly Lumber Company, Kennelly Contracting, and Kootenay Wood Products, to name a few,” said the CFKR. “As a small example of his community service, Jim was a member of Cranbrook City Council, Regional District of East Kootenay Board, Cranbrook Hospital Board, Cranbrook Hospital Auxiliary Board, Gyro Service Club, Chums of the Chamber, Knights of Columbus, and St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School building committee and parish council. Jim also participated in the area’s Economic Development Bank as a mentor and assisted in building Blue Lake Camp and Idlewild Park.”

CFKR officials said their contributions have made a significant difference.

“Together, Jim and Delphine were valued and engaged members of their community. Their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are inspired by their accomplishments and look forward to supporting education and healthcare through Jim and Delphine’s legacy fund,” said CFKR officials.

Details on how to donate can be found below.

More: CFKR website

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