PERTH - A well-managed portfolio has resulted in the Perth and District Community Foundation’s fortunes rising to the tune of $100,000.
“Our investments went up this year,” said Howard Allen, the foundation’s treasurer, at the annual general meeting at The Stone Cellar restaurant on Thursday, Feb. 21. It also helped the bottom line that “we didn’t get the big requests we got last year,” said Allen.
Their total assets hover around the $800,000 mark, while donations sloped off from a spike in 2011.
“There was a lovely jump in 2012,” said Elaine Turner, the foundation’s executive director, of a one-off donation of about $250,000, “which really allowed us to do a lot more,” such as provide $5,000 more in scholarships.
One outreach program that the foundation was able to help fund was a child literacy program at the Perth and District Union Library.
“We’re excited to see that take off this year,” said Turner. “Those are the kinds of things that make us feel relevant.”
In their 11 years of existence, the foundation has doled out about $240,000 in grants, not including scholarships through the Algonquin College Foundation. The foundation hands out a further $8,000 in scholarships and bursaries to high school students at St. John’s, Perth and District Collegiate Institute, and T.R. Leger.
Last week’s meeting was little different, with Turner handing out cheques totaling $28,000 to 15 community groups such as the Alzheimer’s Society of Lanark County, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lanark County, and the Lanark Animal Welfare Society.
“Much of our reason for being is to enable other charities,” said Turner. “We see diversity in this year’s grants.”
Turner also said that the foundation was rising to the challenge set down by Governor General David Johnston to community foundations to “level the power of philanthropy to bring about local change.”
The foundation will be hosting a volunteers opportunity fair on Tuesday, April 23, at the Perth Civitan Club hall, with 20 organizations registered so far, with the aim of matching the skills of eager volunteers with the right deserving charity or organization.
The organizations that were supported were:
* Camp Merrywood (to construct two environmentally sensitive outdoor toilets)
* Perth Regional Heritage Fair (to provide money for awards for participants)
* Lanark County Municipal Trails Corporation (to purchase and install 25 new interprative signs)
* Active Seniors Koalition (to support the one-day Lanark Seniors Expo in May of 2013)
* Alzheimer Society of Lanark County (to support the Caregiver Day Away program)
* Lanark Highlands Youth Centre Inc. (to support the summer excursion program)
* Queen Elizabeth School, Perth (to create a second natural play place)
* Perth Horticultural Society Junior Gardeners Program (to create a hands-on horticultural learning experience for youngsters)
* Tay Valley Reusers (to help fund the creation of a re-use centre at the Glen Tay waste site)
* Classic Theatre Festival (to help support the Save-A-Seat program to get socially disadvantaged people out to enjoy an evening of theatre)
* Lanark Animal Welfare Society (to assist with training materials for the Perth Companion-Animal Support Program).
* Queen's Medical Outreach (to support an educational program in Guyana headed by Perth native Joseph Kotze)
* Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lanark County (to support ongoing good work)
* McDonalds Corners-Elphin Recreation and Arts (to support ongoing good work)
* Algonquin College Foundation (to support the capital campaign at the Perth campus)