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Pauw Foundation donates $100k to YWCA Banff's Thriving Futures campaign

"As an anchor sponsor, we encourage anyone in the community who can, to get on board and support the much-needed Thriving Futures campaign. Every contribution makes a difference, and we are very proud to contribute to this important campaign.”
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YWCA Banff CEO Connie MacDonald, left, and Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation Executive director Cathy Geisler celebrate a $100,000 donation to the Y's recently launched Thriving Futures fundraising campaign. DANIEL THOMSON PHOTO

BANFF – Banff's Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation has stepped up with a significant contribution to the YWCA's recently launched Thriving Futures campaign.

The $100,000 donation will jump-start the YWCA Banff's goals of raising $500,000 through the new campaign to support its operations and to continue to provide critical programs and services in the Bow Valley. 

“We believe in the important work being done by the YWCA and their very real need for financial support right now," said Cathy Geisler, executive director fo the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundaion, in a press release. 

"As an anchor sponsor, we encourage anyone in the community who can, to get on board and support the much-needed Thriving Futures campaign. Every contribution makes a difference, and we are very proud to contribute to this important campaign.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the YWCA Banff has been unable to hold fundraising events, like VineArt and Walk-A-Mile. While at the same time, it has seen an increase in crisis calls, domestic violence and sexual assault, rising unemployment and homelessness, and greater demand for mental health supports. 

As Albertans find themselves in the second wave of the pandemic, the YWCA anticipates its programs and services will continue to be needed. CEO Connie MacDonald said the Thriving Futures fundraising campaign will ensure it is prepared to meet those needs, while maintaining financial sustainability in the long term.

Early in the pandemic, the Y closed down its hotel operations to focus on its community programs and services. The hotel, however, typically provides 60 per cent of the organization's operational revenue. 

"Since COVID hit, our team has been working hard to support residents and community members suffering from mental health challenges, struggling with homelessness, figuring out how to pay their bills, and women and families impacted by domestic and sexual violence," MacDonald said in a press release.

"It is not easy work, and our staff continue to rise to the challenge as front-line workers. But it takes more than goodwill to sustain our work. We are so grateful for this game-changing investment in our organization from the Wim & Nancy Pauw Foundation.”

Since 2013, the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation has contributed $1.8 million toward community initiatives. It is a charitable organization funded by the primary shareholder in Banff Caribou Properties and the Banff Lodging Company – Wim Pauw. 

The foundation approved a budget of $1 million in 2020 for grassroot projects that fall into three categories: active lifestyle, education and community building. 



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