Two nearby communities will benefit from an area volunteer’s commitment and long service.
Warren Bloomquist, a well known resident of the Calumet area for close to 40 years and operator of a purebred/commercial cow-calf venture, has given up his director seat on the Community Futures East Parkland (CFEP) after 14 years of representing the Bashaw and eastern portion of Ponoka County.
CFEP in a non-profit organization that provides businesses with advice, financial and economic development assistance to small companies as well as those wishing to start up a business. CFEP is based in Mirror and serves a vast area encompassing Bashaw, Blackfalds, Alder Flats, Rimbey, Bentley, Millet, Castor and Delburne.
As a result of Bloomquist having to leave his post on the board, his service was recognized by CFEP with a donation of $1,400 that he has decided to split between a pair of community-based groups that are close to him and his family.
On his behalf, CFEP is donating $400 to the Calumet Community Society and $1,000 to the Mecca Glen School athletics program. The two non-profit groups meet the criteria in that they either build capacity within the region or assist in economic development in the area.
“It’s a great honour to recognize Warren’s great service to Community Futures East Parkland and the business community in general with these donations,” explained CFEP board chair Brenda Feenstra at the donation ceremony at Mecca Glen School on Wednesday, May 4.
“I’m always amazed at how these donations help strengthen the community and how close knit these small communities we support are and how much they really appreciate the money they receive.”
Feenstra added that Bloomquist was one of the people most responsible for helping businesses throughout Bashaw and Ponoka County develop and grow through lending decisions made by CFEP.
“As the volunteer representative for the area they are the ones helping make those decisions, who come to the board table with insight into their communities, but more importantly, work with the other members to direct resources and activities to benefit the entire region,” she said.
For Bloomquist, the recognition is nice. However, it’s important for him that this money is going to support some wonderful work in the community.
“It’s been an incredible time helping provide support through Community Futures as essentially the lender of last resort for small businesses wish to strengthen, grow or start up a business as well as providing them with many of the tools they need to continue to be successful,” he stated.
“The people on the board and from throughout the area have been great and my time serving on the board has been extremely fulfilling for me. The comrade with such a cohesive bunch of people wanting to help was wonderful.”
And his community is very glad for the support as well, as both Mecca Glen principal Dan Walker and Calumet Community Society president John Olson thanked Bloomquist for his generosity.
“This kind of commitment encompasses not just sports like volleyball and basketball, but is a huge help in maintaining our whole athletics program and even extends beyond the school. The entire community comes out to watch and support, so this is also about helping keep this community together,” said Walker.
With his time done, Warren has continued to pass along that helpful attitude with his son Eric taking his place as the CFEP director for the region.