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Home News River Valley Resilience Retreat receives $25,000 boost

River Valley Resilience Retreat receives $25,000 boost

River Valley Resilience Retreat receives $25,000 boost
Affinity Credit Union board member Joe Rybinski (centre-left) presents a cheque for $25,000 to River Valley Resilience Retreat board member Chris Garland (left), and retreat founders Jeff Reeder (centre-right) and Michelle McKeaveney (right). -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

The River Valley Resilience Retreat received a big boost on Saturday thanks to the Affinity Credit Union Foundation.

The foundation gave $25,000 to the Resilience Retreat at the non-profit’s second annual golf tournament fundraiser. Retreat co-founder Jeff Reeder said the support was a welcome piece of news after a challenging beginning.

“We’re extremely excited and thrilled to have the support of that size (and) that amount of money,” Reeder said after the presentation. “It means a lot, and for an organization to commit that amount, it says a lot about them. We appreciate every penny we get.”

The Resilience Retreat initially struggled to find a permanent home, but finally moved into its new location this summer. Although they’ve finalized the purchase, the group still has a few construction projects that will help them accommodate more visitors.

Reeder said it’s a necessary next step if the organization wants to help more first responders who need a place to recoup, relax, and heal from any mental health injuries they may sustain on the job. However, it’s also an expensive one.

“We need a lot of ongoing funding to cover the initial start-up costs,” he explained. “Any grassroots venture, when you’re putting infrastructure in and power, septic, water, all that kind of stuff, it’s very costly to get started. Then (to maintain) all that kind of stuff, we really need that support to get to the next level.”

Joe Rybinski, a member of the Affinity Credit Union board of directors, was on hand to present the cheque to Reeder, fellow retreat founder Michelle McKeaveney, and retreat board member Chris Garland.

Rybinski said the decision to support the River Valley Resilience Retreat was an easy one.

“When I learned a little bit about this organization, I realized the initiative was to provide for public safety personal who go to work every day to protect us, to provide safety to us, and to help us in probably some of the most trying times of our life,” he said. “It’s a real delight to be able to offer a little bit of help back in return.”

The $25,000 in funding comes out of the Affinity Community Development Fund. Rybinski said they’re always looking for ways to build a better community, and the River Valley Resilience Retreat hit all the right notes.

“We try to work together with organizations within the community to make it a better place for us to live,” he said.

Organizers said the retreat’s second annual golf tournament was also a success. They’re fully committed to holding a third golf fundraiser at Cooke Municipal Golf Course again next year.

“We hope to continue the tradition, make it bigger and better every year, and try and get some new supporters out of the woodwork,” Reeder said.

The River Valley Resilience Retreat provides a safe, secluded, and serene location for first responders and veterans to recharge, rest, relax, recover, and develop the resilience skills needed to reclaim their lives.

The retreat is in the RM of Prince Albert, and includes direct access to the South Saskatchewan River Valley.