Community Futures Mount Waddington is hosting a barbecue in a fashion as North Island as it gets.
“We used to do open houses, but nobody came,” said David Mitchell.
“So, we started last year with the notion of a sockeye salmon burger fundraiser and thought that will get people coming to donate money, get a burger and meet people and it went really well,” he said, noting all the money collected went to the North Island Gazette’s Christmas Hamper Fund.
“We think the Hamper Fund is a great way to go and
I think we donated $500 or $600 last year,” Mitchell said.
“We have twice the amount of salmon as last year, when we served 70 plates, and we’re hoping to serve 150 this year and, really, I don’t know why I’m so excited about it,” Mitchell laughed, “because I’m the guy who has to stand at the barbecue.”
Community Futures is a federally funded organization meant to assist rural communities in the development of strategies in a changing economy.
“We operate as independent, non-profit organizations, in partnership with Western Economic Diversification Canada,” said Mitchell.
“And the open house is an opportunity for the public to see what we do — to meet the staff, to meet the board — we’re constantly trying to raise our profile within the community.”
For example, Mitchell said few people know Community Futures is a small business-lending program.
“They don’t know we’re a community economic development organization and that we have a self-employment and all the rest of it,” he said.
“Some say, ‘Oh, you’re the ones who give all the money away.’
“Well, we don’t. We actually have a small lending program that’s not dissimilar to a bank; we’re just better than a bank.”
Community Futures can be a well of valuable information for those wanting to start a small business and for those already living their working dream.
“People can come here to — via video-conferencing — take part in seminars on business planning, financing your new business, social media and your new business, etc.,” he said.
The Community Futures Mount Waddington Open House and Barbecue fundraiser for the Gazette Hamper Fund takes place 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 23 at 14 – 311 Hemlock St., in Port McNeill.