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The Altona Community Foundation will be donating $13,000 to local projects and organizations through its 2018 fall grant program.

The Station Youth for Christ, one of the seven recipients, will put the $2,700 it received towards its fundraising efforts for a new van.

YFC’s current van has made numerous trips to British Columbia, Minneapolis, Minn., Winnipeg and Winkler, and has accumulated more than 500,000 kilometres, says Marty Falk from The Station.

“It has done its time. The motor is okay but the body is definitely falling apart. There are some holes where holes shouldn’t be, and it’s just time to upgrade because it’s a really big ministry tool for us,” Falk said.

“It allows us to take the teens out of Altona, get away from the small town atmosphere, and see some other things, and experience some other things.”

Falk added that the van enables large groups to travel to faraway locations for mission work and volunteer opportunities.

YFC has acquired around half of its $40,000 goal to purchase a new van for the summer of 2019.

YFC vangrantMarty Falk says The Station's current van has more than 500,000 km and is need of replacing.

Rosenfeld School is another recipient and will use the $2,350 grant toward its natural playground project.

The natural playground will incorporate structures that resemble nature, such as berms, stumps, log courses, stepping stones, as well as a diversity of plants and trees.

Principal Barb Rempel said natural playgrounds are proven to benefit the creativity and imagination of children.

“It creates an opportunity for a different kind of play, more imaginative play to compliment the other kinds of play that happen in schoolyards, like sports, swinging, and some of the more traditional types of play,” she said.

Natural playgrounds also help students learn more about the environment and how to appreciate it, she noted.

Rosenfeld School began its fundraising for this project in fall and will continue to apply for grants in the new year. The school has since acquired 15 percent of its total goal of $40,000.

Other Altona-area recipients of Altona Community Foundation grants from the fall include the Field of Dreams ($2,250) for a grandstand concrete base; Altona Health Centre ($1,750) for a porch swing for wheelchairs; Altona Curling Club ($1,500) for a new computer projector; The Gardens on Tenth ($1,250); and Neubergthal Heritage Foundation ($1,200) for a commercial drink cooler.

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