By Marc Zienkiewicz

The Lac du Bonnet Leader’s Brett Mitchell spent 12 hours outside the Lac du Bonnet Community Centre in sub-zero winter temperatures Nov. 28 to raise money for the community’s new charitable foundation.

Brett Mitchell

“In Memory of Cheryl Bruce”

A substantial pledge was made last week to the Lac du Bonnet Charitable Foundation in the name of the late Cheryl Bruce. Cheryl’s husband John has pledged $5,000 in the name of his wife, who died of cancer earlier this year, and the money will be used to start an “In Memory of Cheryl Bruce” sub-fund. The interest earned will be earmarked for local community initiatives and worthy causes in the future that would be dear to Cheryl’s heart.

“My hope is this fund will be of assistance to those in need in the future, with the emphasis on having Cheryl’s spirit attached,” John said.

Foundation member and Cheryl’s friend Brett Mitchell said the pledge is more than welcome and will ensure Cheryl’s memory and willingness to help her community will live on.

“Cheryl was a great volunteer and an ambassador of this community,” he added.

Cheryl was fond of helping out various community causes, including sitting on the rec district board, volunteering at the Lions Club seniors dinner and donating items to the town nursery school.

“Anything to do with children and needy families was especially of concern to her,” John said.

Cheryl’s friend Marilyn Stewart said the fund will be a fitting tribute.

“Cheryl would have been very proud to be a part of this,” she said.

For information on the foundation and to donate, contact Gus Wruck at 345-2206 or visit the foundation website at

By Marc Zienkiewicz

The Lac du Bonnet Community Foundation was officially born this week when it received its first donations.

The recently-formed foundation was given a total of $2,000 courtesy of the RCMP Musical Ride and Lac du Bonnet ratepayer Gus Wruck.

“This is a great milestone for us,” foundation chair Cliff Zarecki said.

Community foundations — of which there are many in Manitoba — are independent charitable organizations that help facilitate community philanthropy. They pool donations, place the money into investment funds, and use only the interest generated to support a wide variety of community initiatives.

The Lac du Bonnet Community Foundation recently received charitable status.

RCMP Musical Ride organizer Sharalyn Reitlo presented the foundation with $1,000 on Wednesday. In total, the Musical Ride — which took place in July — made a $5,800 profit. The rest of the cash will go to the community centre (for the purchase of a projector screen), the Lac du Bonnet and District Historical Society for its Hans Erickson museum project, Lac du Bonnet Centennial School for its new play structure, and to the community of Pinawa for yet-to-be-announced projects. Reitlo said Musical Ride organizers are pleased to contribute to the budding foundation. “It’s such a worthwhile project,” she said.

Wruck Donates – Another $1,000 donation came from Lac du Bonnet’s Gus Wruck, a member of the foundation board. Wruck said his substantial personal donation is meant to inspire others to help the community. “I wanted to show my own commitment to the community, but most of all to encourage others to make similar contributions,” Wruck said.

“I feel we all should do what we can to help leave some kind of legacy.”

By Donna Delaurier

The Lac du Bonnet It’s official – Lac du Bonnet has a charitable foundation.

Mauri Rutherford, chairman of the Lac du Bonnet and District Charitable Foundation Inc., said he received word this week the foundation has received its charitable designation from Revenue Canada.

“We’re going to be open for business very shortly,” Rutherford said. “We’re very proud. Very happy. I think we can get rolling now.” Creating a charitable foundation in LdB has been a long-time dream for many people, including Rutherford’s father ‘Doc’ Rutherford. “It was his dream,” Rutherford said.

Unfortunately, Doc passed away several years ago, but the younger Rutherford decided to tackle his dad’s dream.

Of course Rutherford’s just one of a team that has been working diligently on the foundation for the past year. The committee also includes Cliff Zarecki (president), Gus Wruck (vice president), Donna Tschetter (secretary), Bob Draward (treasurer), Gordon Emberly, Daryll Hyslop, Norm Plato, Brett Mitchell, and Bill Russell.

Attaining charitable status required plenty of work, and Rutherford’s glad the committee can now begin accepting donations from individuals and groups.

“There’s been a lot of interest by people who have money available to make donations,” Rutherford said.

“We’re now past the ‘let’s make this thing exist’ mode and moving to the ‘let’s start fundraising’ mode.”

Rutherford said the committee will be meeting shortly to establish sub-committees and move into the fundraising phase.

By Marc Zienkiewicz

The Lac du Bonnet Charitable Foundation is nearly a reality and should have charitable status by September, foundation president Cliff Zarecki said this week.

The foundation began in July of last year when Zarecki was appointed chairman of a committee designed to look into the possibility of starting a community foundation for Lac du Bonnet.

Community foundations — of which there are many in Manitoba — are independent charitable organizations that help facilitate community philanthropy. They pool donations, place the money into investment funds, and use only the interest generated to support a wide variety of community initiatives.

Zarecki has been involved with trying to get a community foundation going for LdB in the past.

Several years ago, Winnipeg’s Thomas Sill Foundation — which was created in the 1980s when Sill willed his money to create it — was consulted by officials in LdB, but the project never got off the ground.

Now Zarecki is happy to report the foundation has 10 board members. Other members are Daryl Hyslop, Norm Plato, Gus Wruck, Gord Emberley, Donna Tschetter, Bob Draward, Brett Mitchell, Bill Russell, and Mauri Rutherford.

“Now it’s a matter of figuring out what we have to do to get the word out,” Zarecki said.

An education campaign will be forthcoming to explain the benefits of the foundation to area residents.

Beausejour has a foundation of its own, and it has been very successful. Today it has a pool of working capital in the neighbourhood of $300,000.

At an interest rate of four per cent, this would generate $12,000 every year for community projects.

Anyone who wants more information on the Lac du Bonnet Charitable Foundation can contact Zarecki at 345-8086.

By Marc Zienkiewicz

Coreen Pusiewich donates a cheque for $1,000 to Bob Draward of the Lac du Bonnet Charitable Foundation while president Cliff Zarecki looks on.

The Lac du Bonnet Charitable Foundation got a major and much-welcome boost last week when $26,000 was donated to the fund in a single afternoon.

Coreen Pusiewich of Lac du Bonnet’s Royal Bank donated $1,000 to the foundation after she received the bank’s Regional President’s Community Leadership Award. Along with the award, Pusiewich was allowed to donate $1,000 to her charity of choice. “This is such a wonderful cause,” she said of the foundation. “I’m happy to help out.” Pusiewich’s presentation was made during the foundation’s March 13 meeting.

At the same meeting, foundation chairman Mauri Rutherford presented a check for $25,000 from the Lac du Bonnet Wildlife Association, much to the surprise of those present. “What a huge milestone for the foundation — it was totally unexpected,” foundation president Cliff Zarecki said. He noted the sizeable contribution has the foundation’s board seriously thinking about developing a formal grant application process, with the first grants to conceivably be given out in 2010. Zarecki added that an additional $25,000 in promised donations are still expected, and the foundation could be up to $100,000 by the end of the summer.

It now sits at around $42,000, after more than $2,000 was donated by Carly Zarecki and Amanda Gooding this week, who raised pledges and had their hair cut to make wigs for cancer patients March 18.

“The board has tentatively talked about giving out the first grants once we hit $100,000, but no final decision has been made on that,” he added.
The foundation is designed to pool donations and in turn facilitate community philanthropy. Money is saved in an account and only the interest generated is used to fund community projects.

The foundation was officially launched in November. Anyone interested in donating can visit