Kennelly-Bella Family Legacy Celebrated with New Endowment Fund

Cranbrook, BC (March 4, 2024) – The Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies (CFKR) is thrilled to announce the establishment of its newest endowment fund: the Jim and Delphine (Bella) Kennelly Legacy Fund.

The Jim and Delphine (Bella) Kennelly Legacy Fund has been created to celebrate and acknowledge a lifetime of community service and leadership in local commerce by both Jim and Delphine, in Cranbrook as well as Fernie. Throughout their lifetimes and through the amazing examples of their own parents, they dedicated a great deal of time to education, healthcare, municipal governance, and catholic parishes in the area, where they raised their family and developed their businesses.  Being actively and generously involved in the local community has been paramount to them both.

The purpose of the Jim and Delphine (Bella) Kennelly Legacy Fund is to support programs, initiatives, and special projects related to healthcare and education in the communities of Cranbrook and Fernie, including programs, equipment, and projects to enhance healthcare at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital and the Elk Valley Hospital as well as programs and capital projects to enhance post-secondary education at the College of the Rockies.

Delphine Bella was born in Fernie, where her multilingual mother served her community in many ways and inspired her children to do the same. As a busy mother of ten children, Delphine made time for her own community service, with a focus on healthcare and education. When the children were young, she was the school pianist at St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School in Cranbrook. Then, as more time became available, she served on the East Kootenay Community College Board of Governors, Cranbrook Hospital Board, Cranbrook Hospital Auxiliary Board, and the Cranbrook Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store volunteer team. These are just a few of the ways that Delphine supported the development of Cranbrook, where she still resides.

Jim Kennelly, who passed away in 2020, centered his life around his family, his Catholic faith, and his community. He became a respected leader in the local business community through multiple enterprises, including Kennelly Lumber Company, Kennelly Contracting, and Kootenay Wood Products, to name a few. As a small example of his community service, Jim was a member of Cranbrook City Council, Regional District of East Kootenay Board, Cranbrook Hospital Board, Cranbrook Hospital Auxiliary Board, Gyro service club, Chums of the Chamber, Knights of Columbus, and St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School building committee and parish council. Jim also participated in the area’s Economic Development Bank as a mentor and assisted in building Blue Lake Camp and Idlewild Park.

Together, Jim and Delphine were valued and engaged members of their community. Their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are inspired by their accomplishments and look forward to supporting education and healthcare through Jim and Delphine’s legacy fund.

The Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies invites community members to celebrate Jim and Delphine’s legacy by contributing to this fund. CFKR welcomes tax-receiptable charitable donations to the Jim and Delphine (Bella) Kennelly Legacy Fund via the following means, all of which have zero processing fees: