An organization that provides mental health services to local people will benefit from funds held in trust since the 2013 municipal election.
Former mayor Nolan Crouse has donated $9,183.12 leftover from his 2013 election campaign to CASA Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health. The money became available for donation after he chose not to run in the 2017 municipal election.
According to Alberta’s Local Authorities Election Act, municipalities are responsible for holding any excess campaign money in trust for the candidate at a financial institution. If that candidate files nomination papers for the next election, the municipality puts that money plus interest into the candidate’s next campaign. If the candidate does not run, within six months of the date of the election, the candidate may direct the money to a registered charity. The donation was made to CASA earlier this year.
CASA Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health provides mental health services in central and northern Alberta. The agency offers general and specialized therapy programs, as well as different outreach and rehab services.
Dr. Denise Milne, CEO of CASA and the CASA Foundation, said Crouse’s donation will help fund the launch of a Family Smart program, where parents and youth work together in children’s mental health. She said the program ensures everyone is involved and has a voice in the care and treatment of their child.
Crouse said mental health is an issue that’s too often hidden from the public eye.
“Mental health is very important. It touches so many people,” Crouse said.
“Children’s health has a lot of difficult stories.”
Crouse said he and his wife, Gwen, have been involved with CASA for about seven years. For the past three years, he acted as auctioneer during CASA’s annual galas.
Milne said Crouse was instrumental in terms of his auctioneering and raising money for the research chair in children’s mental health. She said Crouse’s work helped raise more than $147,000 at the CASA gala in May.