Coquitlam Foundation’s Awards Celebration a huge success

Monday, May 25, 2009

COQUITLAM – Dozens of bursary, scholarship and grant recipients joined with community leaders, members of the public and the board of the Coquitlam Foundation on May 21 for the organization’s annual Grants and Awards Celebration.

The Coquitlam Foundation handed out seven bursaries and two scholarships to Coquitlam students, while an even dozen groups received grants. In total, the foundation distributed almost $50,000 in awards during the event, staged at the Evergreen Cultural Centre.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to support so many worthy students and organizations,” said Colleen Talbot, chair of the Coquitlam Foundation. “The evening was a celebration of community, one that brought to life our commitment to encourage and support creative, targeted philanthropy that builds a vibrant, sustainable, and healthy community.”

Many Tri-City area community leaders, including MLAs, council members and school board trustees, joined with members of the public, and Coquitlam Foundation directors and committee members in celebrating the award winners. The audience was entertained by the Children’s Touring Concert Choir of Coastal Sound Music Academy, under the direction of Diana Clark and accompanied on the piano by Barry Yamanouchi. As well, Children of the Street youth performers took to the stage for a powerful presentation.

Among other highlights were: the awarding to Daniel Mortensen, by Judith Osborne and Colin Campbell, of the CMLA Brodie Campbell Memorial Scholarship; the awarding to Kelly Yip of the Raymond A. LeClair Memorial Scholarship, by Sharon and Lindsey LeClair. As well, 2008 bursary recipient Martin Gradowski returned to tell the audience how his receipt of the bursary paved the way for his successful first year at Simon Fraser University.

Coquitlam Foundation board member Gordon Fulton also honoured outgoing board members Maxine Wilson, Glen Hara, Mike McPhee, Tony Osachoff and Derek Ashford. Fulton noted that, as mayor, Wilson was instrumental in the success of a fundraising campaign that allowed the foundation to hire Executive Director Laurel Lawson.

As well, the foundation honoured long-time grants-committee member Jean McDonald. Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart, a member of the board, brought official greetings to the event from the City of Coquitlam. Talbot also described the establishment of the Peter Legge Literacy Endowment Fund.

Board member Gerri Wallis, head of the grants committee, oversaw the evening’s awarding of the grants, bursaries and scholarships. As previously announced, this year’s grant recipients were Kidsport BC; PoCoMo Youth; Children of the Street Society; Mothers Against Drunk Driving; Kateslem After School Program; Coquitlam Public Library; Lord Baden Powell PAC; Vancouver International Children’s Festival; Place des Arts; Glen Pine 50-Plus Society; Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation; and Societe Place Maillardville. Earlier, the Foundation gave grants to the I Love My City campaign and the Evergreen Cultural Centre for its Water’s Edge event. Bursary winners included Sadia Badiei, Mariko Baerg, Dylan Jenken, Taylor Verhaegen, Chris Lee, Dhruv Shangari and Tyler Wenzel.

“None of this would have been possible without the generous support of local companies, organizations and individuals,” commented Talbot. “Their charity is helping make Coquitlam a stronger and better community.”

Donations can be sent to the Coquitlam Foundation, c/o P.O. Box 2, 1207 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam, B.C., Canada, V3B 7Y3, or made through the Foundation’s website, The Coquitlam Foundation is registered with Canada Revenue as a charitable organization, Number 890762347 RR0001.

Coquitlam Foundation Executive Director Laurel Lawson: 778.995.7152
Coquitlam Foundation Chair Colleen Talbot: 604.290.6128