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Coast Capital Savings’ unique Young Leaders Community Council announces 2014 grant recipients

Vancouver Island

"Skookum Café employees (back left to right) Nicole Wood, Claire Kingston (student intern), and Pascale Grewer, celebrate as Coast Capital Board Member Bill Wellburn (front right) and Conor Pommerville, Chair of the Vancouver Island Young Leaders Community Council (front middle), present Mitzi Dean, Executive Director at Pacific Centre Family Services Association (front left), with their grant cheque."

cooking lesson

"Skookum Café employees Nicole Wood(left) and Pascale Grewer(middle right) give Conor Pommerville, Chair of the Vancouver Island Young Leaders Community Council (middle left) and Coast Capital Board Member Bill Wellburn (right) a cooking lesson in the Skookum Café kitchen."

Victoria, B.C. – December 12, 2014 – Coast Capital Savings’ Vancouver Island Young Leaders Community Council (YLCC) has awarded $490,000 in grants to 37 Vancouver Island youth-focused, not-for-profit organizations. These community-oriented investments support programs that help over 13,000 youth in the region.

Among this year’s recipients is the Pacific Centre Family Services Association, who received funding in support of Skookum Café. Skookum Café is a social enterprise offering fresh handmade food while providing a supportive environment for youth to gain employment skills and training.

“I’m thrilled to accept this investment in the Skookum Café. This grant will make a significant impact, allowing us to support youth to build self-esteem, self-confidence and specialist skills to enable them to develop more positive opportunities and pathways for their futures. Graduates from Skookum are more likely to be able to secure jobs and training opportunities, and build a self-determined lifestyle while also being great team players,” says Mitzi Dean, executive director at Pacific Centre Family Services Association. “We appreciate that Coast Capital’s Young Leaders Community Council has recognized the value that Skookum Café offers our youth.”

The grants, up to $30,000 each, are awarded through a unique “for youth, by youth” process led by the Vancouver Island YLCC, one of three regional Coast Capital youth councils. The councils were created as part of Coast Capital’s community promise to build a richer future for youth. Each YLCC is made up of eight young volunteer leaders from the community and Coast Capital savings, all 30 years old or younger. The teams are mentored throughout their duration on the councils, enabling them to develop critical leadership skills.
In turn, they help to manage the community giving program, and base granting decisions on specific criteria aligned with Coast’s four areas of youth focus: education, family and social connections, financial well-being, and health.

Conor Pommerville, chair of the Vancouver Island Council says that each year the funding decisions prove challenging. “The granting decisions this year were not easy,” says Pommerville. “The Council worked long and hard to determine which organizations should receive grants, and we believe that these 2014 recipients truly embody Coast Capital’s community promise to build a richer future for youth.”

The local community investment program and the YLCCs were developed with the support and approval of the Coast Capital Board of Directors, who are passionate advocates for the credit union’s youth-focused philosophy.

“The Coast Capital Board of Directors are excited with the work of our community-based YLCCs and the thoughtful funding decisions they are making that support local not-for-profits. These are respected community organizations delivering on our ‘for youth, by youth commitment, and it’s fulfilling to see Coast Capital investing in their work,” says Coast Capital Board Member Bill Wellburn.

In 2014, Coast Capital awarded $1.5 million through over 120 grants – an investment that will help over 168,000 local youth.  Of the $1.5 million, Young Leader Community Councils directed: $370,000 to support programs that enhance financial well-being; $309,000 to programs that support youth with their education, $616,000 to programs that help build life and social skills and reduce bullying, and $206,000 to programs that support youth in improving their mental health.

The Vancouver Island Young Leaders Community Council is one of three regional YLCCs; there are also Councils in the Fraser Valley and in Metro Vancouver. Each council is made up of four young leaders from the community and four young leaders from Coast Capital Savings, all 30 years old or younger.  In addition to helping to determine the funding priorities of Coast Capital’s $1.5 million community granting program, the councils give young people the opportunity to hone their leadership skills and gain valuable community volunteer experience.

Coast Capital Savings annually invests seven per cent of pre-tax profits in charitable programs and local initiatives to help strengthen the communities that it serves. This amounted to $5.7 million in 2014, for a total of nearly $56 million since 2000.

About Coast Capital Savings 
Coast Capital Savings is Canada’s second largest credit union, owned by its 512,000 members. It has 50 branches in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and Vancouver Island regions of British Columbia, and has exciting plans to grow. Product innovations include Canada's first free chequing account from a full-service financial institution. Coast Capital offers one of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures™ and was named one of 2014’s BC Top Employers. It is a member of Canada's Best Managed Companies Platinum Club and an Imagine Canada Caring Company. To learn more: www.coastcapitalsavings.com.

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For more information, please contact: 
Erin McKinley                            
Senior Media Relations Advisor
604.517.7657
erin.mckinley@coastcapitalsavings.com

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