Article by Karl Yu, Grand Forks Gazette
Thanks to a nomination from Buy-Low Foods’ manager Fred Boyd, the Phoenix Foundation of the Boundary Communities has received $10,000 from the charitable organization of late-actor Paul Newman.
Newman’s Own Foundation provided the grant to the local Phoenix Foundation, which will use the money to update the Vital Signs report, a checkup conducted by community foundations to measure the viability of Canadian communities.
Boyd said he was proud because the winning grant went to the local community and he got the inspiration from seeing that certain areas of the community were in need of an assist.
Honorary Phoenix Foundation board member Maxine Ruzicka shops frequently at the local Buy-Low and assisted Boyd.
“I know Maxine Ruzicka, she shops in our store all the time, and you know, I thought, ‘We need to do something for Grand Forks,’” Boyd said.
Foundation chair Christine Thompson said the foundation was thrilled that Buy-Low nominated it and to find that it was named one of the recipients. Re-doing the Vital Signs report was one of the foundation’s goals.
“The Vital Signs report was last done in 2009 and it’s basically a discussion and workshops that we have with members of the community to see what the community needs for things like health, youth, sports and it helps the foundation in determining where the grants that it provides are going to be most beneficial to the community as a whole,” Thompson explained.
Phoenix Foundation director Leda Leander is also executive director of the Boundary Family and Individual Services Society (BFISS) and the Vital Signs report is a valuable source of information to BFISS.
“The Boundary Family and Individual Services Society has used the information and priorities gained from Vital Signs to direct our society’s community work as it relates to children, youth and families,” Leander said. “The Vital Signs information and process is invaluable in assisting our community to learn and grow.”
Boyd said he knows the money will be put to good use and is glad to contribute to the community.
“I’m really happy that Buy-Low has been able to be part of the community because we’re very, very community-minded,” Boyd said. “We are a big part of this community, we support whatever we can.”
Boyd was also grateful to a pair of Buy-Low executives.
“We’d like to thank Albert Lum (director of merchandising and advertising), who has helped us make the decision for this particular award and we’d like to also thank Jimmy Pattison (owner), who is so community-minded and has given so much back to the community,” he explained.