Back in May of 2021, Community Foundation of Portage and District established a new fund in honour of long-time board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Central Plains, Auna-Marie Brown. Brown passed away in December of 2020. 

Community Foundation of Portage and District Executive Director Mandy Dubois says the first grant has been presented to BBBS from this fund and is excited to share the news.

"Last year, Big Brothers Big Sisters Central Plains decided to create the Auna-Marie Brown Memorial Fund with the Community Foundation in hopes of honouring her legacy as she was a volunteer for over 15 years with the organization and played a large role in the organization's success," says Dubois. "They decided to create this fund. People have made donations to the fund in honour of Auna-Marie Brown. We were excited that we were finally able to give Big Brothers Big Sisters the first grant from the fund this year."

She explains board chair Ken Brennan presented Dawn Froese with the first grant.

"This is a specific grant -- a memorial fund will actually always grant back to Big Brothers Big Sisters Central Plains, just because that was kind of the charity that was near and dear to her heart," adds Dubois. "It's actually set up to annually grant back to the program for mentorship."

She notes this year, $540 was given to BBBS.

"As the fund grows with the Community Foundation, as people donate to the fund, that grant that gets to go back to BBBS will grow as well," adds Dubois. "We encourage anybody who wants to make a donation in memory of Auna-Marie and help the organization that meant so much to her, you can make a donation at the Community Foundation. The funds will go into the Auna-Marie Brown Memorial fund, and we will be able to give more money to BBBS next year."