Mount Forest Lawn Bowling Club receives $140,000 grant

MOUNT FOREST – A $140,600 Trillium capital grant has been awarded to the Mount Forest Lawn Bowling Club, which officials say will give the organization a much-needed shot in the arm in the form of facility upgrades.

Members of the club celebrated their successful grant application on June 8 with a recognition event followed by a lawn bowling tournament. 

In attendance were Perth-Wellington MPP Matthew Rae and Wellington North Mayor Andy Lennox.

Rae congratulated the club on receiving the funding, which will  cover improvements to greens, roof repairs, an accessibility ramp, plus a new storage shed, ditch boards, and a safe staging area surrounding the greens.

“Obviously, it’s important to have the capital assets to make improvements, but it’s really about what’s attached to that, and that’s the community, ensuring that this club remains in place for the community to come together,” said Rae.

Lennox commended the club on its success, recalling what he described as its “near-death experience,” in reference to its struggles to stay afloat during the pandemic. 

He thanked the Trillium Foundation and the provincial government, but was quick to add that “without the efforts of hard-working volunteers this wouldn’t be possible. 

“It’s really wonderful to see something that was on the verge of collapse experience such a revival,” said Lennox.

While addressing the crowd, club president Brenda Eckhardt said “for a small non-profit organization, it’s very difficult to keep up with the times.

“We’ve been going since 1902 and some of our structures are very aged. This grant has put new life into the club and into the community itself.”

Eckhardt said the grant process required months of hard work by a five-person grant committee. 

“Our first application was turned down,” she said. “But we discovered a hotline, and we phoned in for help and found out what we did wrong.”

The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the provincial government, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations.

A Trillium capital grant aims to improve spaces and facilities within communities, including improving accessibility.

Funding is provided over one year to successful applicants.

The application process is quite involved, with projects evaluated and scored on four criteria, including relevance and benefit to the community, feasibility of the project plan, project budget, and whether the project increases accessibility to the population.

“This OTF grant allows the Mount Forest Lawn Bowling Club to maintain delivering quality programs for Mount Forest and surrounding areas,” said Eckhardt.

“Without this type of help from governments, non-profit organizations could no longer serve the public.”

Sue Hogenkamp