Today, the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan (“CFNO”) announced its plan to raise $3 million over the next 3 years.
With the slogans “Your Community Needs You” and “17 x 17”, the campaign objectives are to increase the total value of endowments from the current level of $14 million to $17 million by 2017 and to focus attention on its “Smart & Caring Community Fund”, an endowment from which charitable organizations in the North Okanagan apply annually to fund projects to enhance the quality of life in our communities.
Founded in 1975 and originally known as the Vernon Foundation, the organization’s service area has expanded to the entire north Okanagan region and the endowment base has grown substantially over the past 10 years. There are now over 150 separate endowments from which annual distributions are directed to a number of local charities to support health care, arts and culture, seniors programs, youth programs, and scholarships among other causes.
As we approach Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, the Governor General has challenged Canadians to imagine our country as it could be – a Smart & Caring nation that holds promise for everyone. “Smart” means understanding the needs of our community and using our knowledge and expertise to tackle the issues facing our community. “Caring” is the passion that motivates us to act on our knowledge, facilitating community change and creating equal opportunities for all citizens.
President Michael Tindall, in announcing the campaign, commented, “This is an historic moment in the growth of our Community Foundation, and everyone involved is excited by both the challenge and the potential return to the community.”
“We’re also very pleased to announce,” said Tindall, “that local wheelchair athlete Sonja Gaudet, a 3-time Paralympic gold medalist in the sport of curling, will act as our “Smart & Caring Community Champion” for the first year of the campaign, representing the foundation’s field of interest categories of Health, Disabilities, and Sports/Recreation. The Foundation will feature a different “Smart & Caring Community Champion” for each year of its ambitious 3 year campaign.
In conjunction with announcing the campaign, former MLA Tom Christensen was introduced as Honourary Campaign Chair. As an added incentive, long standing community foundation donor George Galbraith has also pledged $50,000 in matching funds for eligible gifts to the Smart & Caring Community Fund. Donors are encouraged to contact the Foundation for eligibility criteria.
Donations can be made online at www.cfno.org or by contacting Leanne Hammond at 250-542-8655.