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Osprey Foundation signs agreement with FONE

Over the next three years, Osprey will provide FONE with $25,000 per year to boost the organization’s ability to provide grants to seniors.
Bette Craig

Osprey Community Foundation has announced the renewal of its partnership with the local organization Friends of Nelson Elders (FONE).

Over the next three years, Osprey will provide FONE with $25,000 per year to boost the organization’s ability to provide small grants to benefit local seniors.

“This money comes from a fund specifically for the needs of seniors,” says Osprey board vice-chair Nelson Ames. “FONE volunteers have their ear to the ground. They know what’s happening in our local care facilities and the community, so they can identify where our grants will make the most difference.”

In 2005, Osprey and FONE formed a partnership, with Osprey funds used to increase FONE’s capacity to provide grants for seniors’ projects. This relationship has grown, and Osprey funds have often been crucial in providing support for valuable ongoing services.

“FONE appears to be the sole supporter for programs within local seniors care facilities,” said Bette Craig, president of the non-profit. “With Osprey’s help, we are able to ensure these programs don’t disappear.”

Among the services FONE has been able to provide with Osprey’s help are:

• Music therapy and performances by professional musicians — According to Craig, residents who don’t usually respond to anything brighten up when they hear the music. Some residents are former music teachers or performers themselves.

• Library outreach ­— When the Nelson Library Outreach program arrives at Mountain Lakes and Lakeside Village, many residents are waiting with their lists of books. The librarian knows their preferences, and is happy to talk about authors and titles.

• Internet ­— When Internet service at Jubilee Manor was cut back, FONE stepped in with funding to allow residents to maintain online contact with friends and relatives. Photos of latest great-grandchild can be projected onto the big screen TV.

• Holiday cheer ­— Broader Horizons and Jubilee Manor received money for Christmas treats and small gifts for those without family.

“We’re all getting older. It may be us wanting those services soon,” said Craig. “All of us have been affected by having our families in these facilities and seeing people not being able to get those little extras. It makes an incredible difference when they have them.”

Out in the community, FONE grants have purchased a wheelchair for visitors to Touchstones Nelson who have difficulty walking around the exhibits.

They’ve supported the Canadian Red Cross to purchase a machine that sanitizes equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers, which are borrowed by seniors living at home. They have partnered with the Nelson City Police Department, providing signs and flags that they can put on the back of scooters to improve safety.

They worked with the Nelson Fire Department to purchase and install fire alarms in the homes of elderly residents.

The society has also established an endowed fund with Osprey Community Foundation that began through a fundraising drive several years ago. This fund ensures a legacy of support for seniors in the years to come. The Friends of Nelson Elders Fund welcomes further donations from the public. Anyone who may be interested in joining the society can contact Craig at 250-352-7153.

For further information, please go to or call 250-352-3643.