Coquitlam’s Diversity Fund Growing Through Crunch Challenge Event

[Seen in photo left to right: Robbin Whachell, event co-chair from the Nothin’ Dragon Masters; Dwight Yochim, E.D., Coquitlam Foundation; Brian Kenny, event co-chair and president, Nothin’ Dragon Masters; and event founder Alex Bell who is principal of the donor-advised, foundation managed Community Diversity Fund (CDF). Photo by Joep Olthuis / Shutter Up & Shoot]

Coquitlam B.C. – On January 6, organizers of the eighth annual Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge presented a $1,000.00 cheque to the Coquitlam Foundation for the “Diversity Fund.”

“It was fantastic to see the results of the hard efforts by everyone who worked on the 2017 Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge last September,” said Dwight Yochim, Executive Director, Coquitlam Foundation. “The rain on the day of the event didn’t dampen anyone’s demeanour as I saw smiles on everyone’s face including those who repeatedly ran the Crunch’s challenging stairs. The funds raised in 2017 bring the Community Diversity Fund total to almost $20,000.”

Grant applications are now being accepted for the Community Diversity Fund, and groups may apply by contacting the Coquitlam Foundation by February 16.  The Fund recently supported a Coquitlam-based job fair that was hosted by ISSofBC focusing on local refugees and new immigrants, attracting more than 150 participants.

“The more we can grow the fund the more we can grant,” said Alex Bell, Coquitlam resident and event founder whose vision is to have people representing every diversity group participating annually.  Bell is also the principal of the donor-advised, foundation managed diversity fund which provides grants to diversity initiatives that enhance the social and/or economic integration of diversity groups into the community. “Diversity groups include age (seniors and youth), socioeconomic (ie: homeless), mental health challenges, physical disabilities,  LGBTQ, new immigrants, visible minorities,” said Bell. “We’ve made great strides with this community event, and I’d really like to thank the Nothin’ Dragon Masters who came on board as event organizers in 2016.”

“We’re excited about the growth of the event,” said Crunch Challenge co-chair Brian Kenny who is also the president of the Nothin’ Dragon Masters, Coquitlam’s only 50 + dragon boat team. “Looking toward this year’s event, we are actively seeking sponsors to make the Sept. 8 event even better. We can be reached at”

The start of early bird registration will be announced by the end of the month. With the next Coquitlam Crunch Challenge only 7 months away, those interested in participating, or keeping abreast of all event details, are encouraged to join the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge mailing list. To subscribe go to

The 2017 Crunch Challenge would not have been possible without the kind support of New Earth Marketing; Rod MacBeth and 98.7 The Point CKPM FM radio; Vancity; City of Coquitlam; snapd Tri-Cities; Sandpiper Signs & Decals; Yellow Dog Brewing; Leigh Brandt and Body by Brandt; Eagle Ridge GMC; Joep Olthuis and Shutter Up & Shoot; Thrifty Foods; Starbucks Coffee; Pasta Polo; Kangho Hapkido Martial Arts Academy; 3D Basketball Academy; Lululemon Coquitlam; and Shaunnessy Veterinary Hospital.

The Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge is an annual event founded by Tri-City’s resident Alex Bell, which celebrates diversity and supports the Nothin’ Dragon Masters senior dragon boat team and their community programs, and the Coquitlam Foundation’s ‘Diversity’ Fund. The event started in 2010 and takes place at the Coquitlam Crunch hiking trail in B.C., Canada. The Challenge features a Stair Master competition; the Make It Or Break It 4-hour competition; and a Recreational category. Learn more at


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