SCUGOG: Giving back was on the agenda on Wednesday, Dec. 2, when the Baagwating Community Association (BCA) handed out more than $250,000 in charitable donations.
The annual reception saw more than 40 different charities and not-for-profit organizations receive donations from the Association, which acts as the charitable arm of the Great Blue Heron Casino.
The Ontario Lung Association and the Chiefs of Ontario-”Who is She” campaign both received the biggest gifts of the day, cheques for $25,000.
The “Who is She” campaign is “a fundraising effort aimed at creating a First Nations-led, community-driven process to eradicate violence against Indigenous women and girls” according to their web site. The program delves into the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
“It’s simply amazing. Thank you for the acknowledgement,” said Regional Chief Isadore Day upon receiving the funds. “I want to acknowledge Scugog Island First Nation, this is true leadership in action.”
Several North Durham groups were amongst those receiving funds, including a $10,000 donation made to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of North Durham.
“We get no funding from governments or central Big Brothers Big Sisters, so this makes this donation so special for us,” said board member Bill Swan.
Other donations in the North Durham area included a $7,500 to Operation Scugog Adopted Families, as well as $5,000 to Port Perry High School’s wrestling club, the New Animal Shelter for Uxbridge-Scugog, Cartwright Central PS, Community Living Durham North and Operation Scugog Food Bank. $2,500 was given to the Caesarea Skate Park and Port Perry Minor Hockey.
In a press release, the BCA thanked the casino and its visitors, saying that “without this patronage, these gifts would not be possible.”