Killarney Lake Action Committee members were thrilled at the phone call from the Lewis and Jones Group in Killarney with the news that they had been awarded $500 to donate to the Killarney Lake Aeration Project.

Four of Lewis and Jones' staff are members of the 'Insurance Women's Association of Western Manitoba'. They recently petitioned for the Killarney Lake Aeration Field as their project of choice for the annual grant through the Association.

First year member, Noilah Oddleifson, says this community project really caught their attention this year. "Our Insurance Women's Association donates $500 every year to a community project. And, so we did a little write up on the Killarney Lake Project and they chose us for the Killarney Lake Action Committee and their air-bubblers that they'll be putting into the lake this year."

The Association of Western Manitoba covers the Brandon area, Killarney, Wawanesa and up to Portage. "If we have a community project in our area that needs funding," explains member Cathy Desrochers, "that's when we can write in and everybody submits their community project. We have a committee that decides who will get the funding and this year they chose us here in Killarney."

Killarney has gleaned from the efforts of these 4 women from Lewis and Jones in other projects, including the Killarney Splash Park and the Killarney School's playground equipment.

"The lake just feels like such a centerpiece in our community," says Oddleifson. "There's so much activity that goes on around it, and we have Beach Fest and we have our swimming lessons and all the boaters and campers."

"You know," she says, "to be able to be on a path towards fixing our problem with it, it's just so encouraging and makes us want to donate to it and help out."

Killarney Lake suffers from heavy eutrophication with as much as 1 meter of suspended organic material on the bottom of the lake. The excess of nutrients in the lake leads to an over-abundance of blue-green algae blooms, which is a toxic bacteria called cyanobacteria.

The Killarney Lake Action Committee has been partnering with the Pelican Lake Committee in designing an aeration system that will improve the water quality of the lake and deter the growth of blue-green algae.

Fund-raising efforts will continue throughout spring and summer, the next event taking place this week Thursday evening, March 29th, at the Blarney Stone.

Doors open at 7pm for a fun-filled evening of food and drink and auctions! Tickets and more information are available at the Blarney Stone Restaurant in Killarney.

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