Union Gas Centennial grants support youth and enviromental programs in North Bay area

$1,000 grants awarded to five programs as part of anniversary celebrations

NORTH BAY, ON, Sept. 23, 2011 /CNW/ - Five programs that support youth and the environment in the North Bay area are getting some help from Union Gas, through grants awarded during the company's Centennial year.

The five Centennial grants of $1,000 each are among 13 in the company's northeast district - and 100 across the province - being awarded to support charitable and non-profit projects focused on the environment, community safety and education.

The five grants in the North Bay area have been awarded to:

  • The Municipality of Callander, for the Community Education program run by the Callander Sustainable Community Committee. The grant is helping the committee provide Callander residents with seminars aimed at developing neighbourhoods that are ecologically, socially and economically healthy.

  • The North Bay Symphony Society for its youth education programs, through which volunteer symphony musicians visit classrooms throughout the North Bay region between September and June, delivering music curriculum developed in conjunction with Ontario provincial educational goals and through local school boards.

  • The Near North District School Board for its Friendly Earth Program. This grant is helping build a vegetable garden at Sunset Park Public School in North Bay, to teach students about sustainability, while incorporating the science curriculum, character education and appreciation for the environment.

  • The North Bay and District Branch of the Canadian Red Cross for its Babysitting/PeopleSavers program for at-risk youth. The grant is helping the Red Cross deliver an injury prevention babysitting program at no charge to at-risk youth, 11 years and older, who live in the North Bay region.

  • Greening Nipissing, for its RAIN Garden Program. The grant is supporting a demonstration rain garden and workshops in the North Bay area, to help educate local residents, professionals, partners and others about storm water management and water quality.

"At Union Gas, we believe in investing in our young people by helping them grow, and also in investing in our communities to make them even better places to live and work," said Julie Dill, president of Union Gas. "It is our partnership with the communities we serve that has helped us become one of North America's premier natural gas storage, transmission and distribution companies. We are very pleased to mark our Centennial by supporting these wide-ranging community and non-profit programs."

Representatives of the grant recipients were among guests at an open house today at the company's district office in North Bay, to mark Union Gas' 100 years of providing safe, reliable and affordable service to customers and communities across Ontario.

The festivities were also attended by Union Gas employees past and present, industry partners, government officials and other members of the public.

"We're proud of our long history in North Bay and across northeast Ontario," said Don Beauchamp, district manager of Union Gas for the northeast district. "And we look forward to continuing our strong relationship. It is our goal to be the partner of choice in these great communities."

Union Gas, a Spectra Energy Company, was founded in 1911 through the amalgamation of three southern Ontario local gas distribution companies. Today, Union Gas, named one of Canada's Top 100 employers in 2011, is the second largest natural gas utility in Canada, serving 1.3 million customers across Ontario.

Union Gas works in over 400 Ontario communities, including many in the northeast district. The company is committed to contributing to the communities where its employees live and work by supporting direct and indirect employment, offering energy efficiency programs, and helping local organizations through sponsorships, charitable giving and hundreds of volunteer hours.

For example, in the northeast, Union Gas has supported organizations including the Orillia Children's Safety Village, the Rotary Club of North Bay, Easter Seals, Communities in Bloom and Science North.

Leading up to the company's 100th anniversary on Dec. 19, a year-long Centennial celebration is rolling out across the province, bringing together employees, retirees and community residents. Visit uniongas.com/centennial for more information.

About Union Gas

Union Gas Limited, a Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE) company, is a major Canadian natural gas storage, transmission and distribution company based in Ontario with assets of over $5.6 billion and approximately 2,200 employees. For more information, visit uniongas.com.

YOUTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS IN NORTH BAY AREA WELCOME UNION GAS CENTENNIAL GRANTS

To mark its Centennial year, Union Gas is awarding 100 grants of $1,000 each to charitable and non-profit projects across the province.

Thirteen of the projects are in the company's northeast district - including five in the North Bay area. Representatives of the recipients were among guests at an open house today at the company's district office in North Bay, to mark Union Gas' 100th anniversary.

"Greening Nipissing is pleased to have been awarded a Centennial grant from Union Gas, as it made our rain garden installation at the Second Avenue Crisis Center location possible. Participants in this community project have learned how rain gardens can help soak up storm water run-off, absorb pollutants and slow down the flow of water into our storm sewers and waterways."

  • Chaylene Grieve-Saunders, Rain Garden coordinator for Greening Nipissing

"It was an honour to be selected as a Centennial project by Union Gas. Our musical youth outreach programs are growing dramatically, and the Centennial grant helps us continue to serve young people in North Bay area schools."

  • Carol Jodouin, vice-president, North Bay Symphony Society board of directors

"The Canadian Red Cross, North Bay Branch, is extremely grateful for the Union Gas Centennial Community Grant. This funding helps us train youth whom would not have the opportunity otherwise. Our babysitting program allows youth to learn practical life skills and gain the confidence necessary to care for children and infants in the home alone."

  • Melissa Yerlitz, First Aid Coordinator, Canadian Red Cross

"It is through great community partnerships, such as with Union Gas, that Sunset Park Public School is able to promote global issues such as energy and conversation, as well as stewardship."

  • Roberta Bedard, principal, Sunset Park Public School

"The Municipality of Callander is very appreciative of the support on the part of Union Gas through the Centennial Community Grant program.  The funds provided have allowed Callander's Sustainable Community Committee to provide educational seminars pertaining to human, natural and economic elements in our community."

  • Hector Lavigne, Mayor of Callander

About Union Gas

Union Gas Limited, a Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE) company, is a major Canadian natural gas storage, transmission and distribution company based in Ontario with assets of over $5.6 billion and approximately 2,200 employees. For more information, visit uniongas.com.

SOURCE Union Gas Limited

For further information:

Andrea Stass
Manager, Public Affairs and Media Relations Union Gas Limited
Ph: 519 436-5490 or 1-800-571-8446 ext. 5490
Cell: 519 365-1010
Fax: 519 436-4621
Email: astass@uniongas.com


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