Petrolia and Central Lambton organizations are getting a big boost from the Judith and Norman Alix Foundation.
Four of seven projects the foundation is investing in this spring are in the area. The biggest grant – $135,000 – will go to the Oil Heritage District Community Centre for its expansion project.
Foundation Spokesman Adam Alix says the general manager of The Centre first made the foundation aware of a larger project. The Building and Structures Report made public at a recent Petrolia Council meeting states The Centre is planning an $800,000 studio project. Officials with the town haven’t said exactly what the project is yet.
The foundation suggested the project be broken into phases and then approved the request for $135,000 to improve locker rooms, showers and make improvements to the gymnasium.
Alix expects The Centre will apply for another grant in the future for the next phase of the project.
Richard Poore, director of cultural services, in an email in response to an interview request, replied “The funds will be used toward engineering and design work, replacement of the gym floor and assistance with our HEGA (Helping Everyone Get Active) financial assistance program.
“We are extremely grateful to The Judith and Norman Alix Foundation for their support of the OHDCC.”
Meantime a number of other projects in Central Lambton also received a big boost from the foundation.
The Village of Oil Springs will get $10,000 for an accessibility ramp in the community hall. The Lion’s Club in Petrolia also earned a $64,111 grant to replace its popular food trailer which it uses to raise funds for the community.
And the Lambton Fairs Association will receive $30,000 to buy a portable accessible bleacher trailer.
The Forest Curling and Social Club will also receive $100,000 from the foundation for a modernization project.
Alix is pleased the foundation is making a mark in the rural areas. “One of our mandates with the foundation is to provide support throughout Lambton County and historically most of our projects…have been focused in Sarnia,” he says. “It was nice to see some of those outer communities applying. It is great exposure for our foundation, get our name into the community into areas where we traditional haven’t been.”
In all the foundation set up by the owner of Steeple Jack Services gave out $357,109 to projects across Sarnia-Lambton this spring.
Over the last 30 years, the Alix Foundation has given about $4 million to 10 community projects and recently began accepting grant proposals. Applications for the next round of funding will be received in September.