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In January, the CVCF announced grants of more than $124,000 to 18 local charities — the largest amount ever.

One group receiving a grant is Comox Valley Special Olympics. A Valley fixture for 30 years, Special Olympics now serves 90 local athletes with intellectual disabilities, ranging in age from 5-75. Funds will be used for uniforms, attendance at competitions and to decrease athlete program participation fees. In all, Special Olympics offers 11 different sports and has seen athletes compete regionally, provincially, nationally and internationally. Last summer three athletes competed at the World Summer Games in Los Angeles and all medaled in their respective sports.

“The grant will have an amazing impact on the lives of the athletes that live, work, train and compete right here in the Comox Valley,” explains Local Coordinator Randy James. “Special Olympics also impacts the lives of volunteers, coaches and family members of those who witness the positive effect our programs have on the lives of those they serve.”

Funds for this grant come from the CVCF’s developmental disabilities fund, created in 2013 in co-operation with the Comox Valley Association for Mentally Handicapped People. The capital of the fund is invested in perpetuity and the income is used every year to support operations and other costs of groups helping those with developmental disabilities.

Two other grants were made from the fund: Courtenay Recreation Association for fitness programs and reducing costs for participants and Comox Valley Therapeutic Riding Society to purchase a new portable wheelchair accessible mount/dismount ramp.

To learn more about the developmental disabilities fund, the many other community grants awarded in January or the ways you can enrich lives in the Comox Valley, visit the website.