Alberta Blue Cross supporting communities across Alberta through $1 million Healthy Communities Grant Program

EDMONTON, Feb. 4, 2015 /CNW/ - The second year of the Alberta Blue Cross Healthy Communities Grant Program has wrapped up, and four more organizations from across Alberta have been selected to each receive $50,000 grants to promote active living in their communities.

"Alberta Blue Cross has a mandate to support the health and wellness of Albertans," says Brian Geislinger, vice-president of Corporate Relations with Alberta Blue Cross. "While many Albertans know us as their health and dental benefit plan provider, this program is one more way we're looking to make a positive difference in the health of all Albertans."

Through the program, Alberta Blue Cross has committed to investing $1 million over a five-year period to promote active living across Alberta. Four $50,000 grants are being awarded each year to support community amenities and facilities that promote active living, with a particular emphasis on children.  Funding for the program comes from the ABC Benefits Corporation Foundation.

"This year we received more than 90 applications —for a wide range of initiatives from all regions and corners of the province," Geislinger says.

One of the goals of the program is to provide support for a variety of projects and also to spread the grants over the province to provide regional diversity over the life of the program.

2014 grants were awarded to the Crestwood Community League Building Society in Edmonton for a new community playground, Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park in Calgary for a new mountain bike park, Camrose Primary Care Network for a new outdoor community gym, and Fort Vermilion Recreation Board for a new skate park.

In 2013, Alberta Blue Cross provided grants to support construction of a new playground for Florence Hallock School in north Edmonton, outdoor sports courts for Westmount Middle/High School in Calgary, a toddler playground adjacent to the new Family and Community Support Services facility in Cold Lake, and outdoor fitness equipment for the Abbey Centre municipal recreation facility in Blackfalds.

Alberta Blue Cross is an Alberta-based not-for-profit organization. As the province's leading benefits provider, Alberta Blue Cross covers more than 1.6 million Albertans. In 2014, Alberta Blue Cross was ranked in an Ipsos survey as one of Alberta's Top 10 Most Loved Brands.

For more details about the Alberta Blue Cross Healthy Communities Grant Program, visit www.ab.bluecross.ca.

SOURCE Alberta Blue Cross

Image with caption: "Alberta Blue Cross (CNW Group/Alberta Blue Cross)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150204_C4371_PHOTO_EN_11813.jpg

For further information: Jaclyn Spurrell, communications officer, Alberta Blue Cross at 780-498-8255 or jspurrel@ab.bluecross.ca.

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