Dec. 3 was a big day for a number of non-profit organizations in Rankin Inlet, when the hamlet announced the groups that were receiving the $10,000 grant from Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM).
Rankin Inlet minor hockey received $10,000 towards the $37,000 home and away tournament jerseys for every age level in Rankin minor hockey.
The Rankin Inlet junior high boys volleyball team received $10,000 to attend the territorial volleyball tournament in Iqaluit.
The Rankin Inlet Radio Society received $10,000 as part of a $61,000 project to digitize and approve the on-air equipment to provide better service to the community.
The Kangiqtinniq spay/neuter clinic was awarded $10,000 to help fund and improve their veterinary clinic.
The Rankin Inlet Search and Rescue (SAR) Committee received $5,000 to go towards equipment needed by the local SAR team, which makes a huge effort to locate and rescue people lost, with broken-down machines or in need of help out on the land.
And, finally, the RCMP hamper fund was awarded $5,000 to go towards offering a Christmas hamper to those who need it most during the holiday season.
AEM’s director for Nunavut affairs Pujjuut Kusugak said Agnico Eagle is always proud to participate in the Rankin Inlet charity ball through its financial contributions and this year is no exception.
“We hope the organizations that the hamlet selected to receive the 2020 funds will find this additional support a great way to help them continue their work in the communities,” said Kusugak.
Fire Chief Mark Wyatt submitted the grant proposal for the Kangiqtinniq spay/neuter clinic.
He said Page Burt and John Hickes started the clinic, but when he took over bylaw and started rescuing dogs it seemed like a good idea for them to work together.
“Since I got involved with them we’ve been doing more fundraising, like this grant proposal I submitted to AEM, holding bingo’s, and that sort of thing,” said Wyatt.
“Basically we’re raising money for a couple of things – to pay for the spay-and-neuter clinic in town because Page and John used to pay for a lot of that themselves and I didn’t think that was right.
“Plus we’re trying to develop a new vet clinic, so we’re trying to raise money to help put that whole thing together. And, once that’s in place and is working in the community, it’s going to give us the opportunity to do more than just one spay-and-neuter clinic a year.
“I’ve got a line on one veterinarian who is retiring and may be interested in coming up for more than one week at a time, maybe three or four weeks twice a year, and that could solve a lot of problems for Rankin and neighbouring communities with dogs that need medical attention.”
Rankin Inlet recreation co-ordinator David Clark said Rankin minor hockey now has about 200 members and they’ve ordered good quality jerseys for the players to wear during tournaments.
He said a good quality jersey and socks is about $100 and you have to buy both home and away jerseys.
“Each age group will have their own set for travel and when we host tournaments here,” said Clark.
“I’m always optimistic, so I think the kids will be playing again sometime in March, but it’s long process to make this many pro-style jerseys, so having them ready for nest season is probably a bit more realistic.”
Clark said while most people in town are looking forward to the new jerseys, it’s a little disappointing when others post negative comments about it.
He said people have to realize if they want player registration to stay as low as possible, then minor hockey has to keep doing things like this to keep it that way.
“It’s great for every group that received money from AEM because they’re the ones out there applying for money for a good cause.
“All the groups that got money, they’re doing it because they think they are making a difference.
“These groups are the backbone of our community and what do we have without them?
“We need to support our groups that are doing so much for our community, not begrudge them for receiving a little helping hand along the way.”