Libro Financial Group Donates $444,356 to Local Youth Initiatives

- 2013 Community Builder Grant Recipients Announced -

LONDON, ON, July 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Libro Financial Group re-invests $444,356 - five per cent of its profit - back into southwestern Ontario by awarding seventeen youth-initiated community projects with grants which will fund valuable programs and initiatives to support the people and communities in the region.

The grants were awarded to the youth projects through Libro's Community Builder Program, which supports community development projects that provide youth, up to the age of 25, the opportunity to develop career and leadership skills.

"The Community Builder program not only strengthens our communities by funding valuable projects and causes, it also provides exciting opportunities for our youth," said Kelly McEachen, Chair of Libro's Community Investment Advisory Panel.  "We hope to foster confident young leaders who are also focused on community, and over time build more vibrant and prosperous communities."

Libro awarded six Community Builder corporate grants and eleven branch grants this year.  The grants are funded using 5 per cent of Libro's pre-tax and pre-dividend profit each year.  Since 2005, when the program first launched, Libro has contributed more than $3.5 million to local youth-initiated projects across southwestern Ontario.

"As a credit union, our staff, customers and our communities are at the centre of what we do," said Tania Goodine, VP Brand, Libro Financial Group.  "By involving staff and elected owner representatives in the evaluation process, we ensure the grants reflect the priorities of our customer-owners and their communities."

Community Builder applicants were required to demonstrate how their project or program impacts the community, and how youth play an integral role in the project. Many of the programs selected were youth initiated and directed.  ROOF (Reaching Our Outdoor Friends), a Community Builder corporate grant recipient, offers a social enterprise program that employs homeless or at-risk youth and provides them an opportunity to gain job skills.

"ROOF not only gave me a job, they gave me a chance to realize what skills I have and what I excel at," said James Legate, Lead Youth for ROOF's Street Designs program. "Libro's Community Builder grant will help expand our program so that more youth, who were in the same situation I was two years ago, will have a chance to change their lives while also making a difference in the community."

2013 Community Builder Corporate Grants
Corporate grants range from $20,000 to $160,000 per year and are reviewed by the Community Investment Advisory Panel made up Owner Representatives, members of the Board and staff.

ORGANIZATION PROGRAM CITY GRANT
ROOF (Reaching Our Outdoor Friends) Social Enterprise Lead Youth Kitchener $64,500
Township of North Huron Wingham Riverside Ball Park Revitalization Wingham $29,650
Habitat for Humanity Sarnia/Lambton Youth Build Sarnia $75,000
Growing Chefs! Ontario Society The Beet London $40,000
Township of Brooke Alvinston Alvinston Community Dog Park  Glencoe $20,000
London Youth Advisory Council Sustainability and Capacity Building London $94,726

2013 Community Builder Branch Grants
Branch grants range from $5,000 to $10,000 and are reviewed by branch Owner Representatives.

ORGANIZATION PROGRAM CITY GRANT
Optimist Club of Forest Forest Spray Pad Forest $10,000
291 Blenheim Bomber Air Cadets 291 Blenheim Cadets Flight Simulator Blenheim $7,851
Life Change Adventures Sunnydale Community Youth Leadership Initiative Waterloo 9,480
Aeolian Hall Musical Arts Association El Sistema Aeolian London 30,000
Helping Belmont Unite Belmont Kids' Splash Pad and Skate Park Belmont 15,000
Junior Achievement of London & District Developing the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs & Business Leaders London 10,000
Monsignor Morrison Catholic Elementary School Monsignor Morrison School Playground St. Thomas 10,000
The Catfish Creek Conservation Authority The Environmental Water Studies Platform Aylmer 6,149
Rotary Club of Festival City Stratford Stratford Splash Pad Stratford 10,000
Delaware Komoka-Kilworth Mount Brydges Minor Baseball Association Komoka/Mount Brydges Baseball Diamond Renovation Delaware 7,000
Municipality of South Bruce Mildmay Gymnastics Program Mildmay 5,000

Libro Financial Group is committed to supporting youth leadership.  In addition to the Community Builder program, Libro also sponsors 50 young people every year to attend Co-operative Young Leaders, a program coordinated by The Ontario Co-operative Association, which provides youth an opportunity to develop leadership, communications skills, and self-confidence. As part of the Community Builder program, Libro also awards scholarships to young people who demonstrate outstanding commitment to community while balancing academic excellence.  Libro's 2013 Community Builder Scholarships will be recognized along with Community Builder grant recipients at an awards ceremony in August.

About Libro Financial Group
Libro Financial Group is southwestern Ontario's full-service credit union operated by a community of owners and open to everyone. With 59,000 owners and over $2 billion in assets under administration, Libro delivers a full range of chequing, savings, investment, RRSP, insurance and loan products along with financial coaching and advice for consumers, and farm and business owners. Libro has been operating for over 60 years and has 16 branches in southwestern Ontario. Owners have access to a surcharge-free network of 2,400 ATMs across Canada. For more information, see www.libro.ca.

SOURCE: Libro Financial Group

For further information:

Tina Romano, Communications Manager
Libro Financial Group
P: 519-672-0130 ext. 4408
C: 519-200-5279
tina.romano@libro.ca

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Libro Financial Group

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