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Sharing food with hope and dignity to build a healthier community

22 West Street South
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Box 743 Orillia, ON L3V 6K7

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Tue. Dec. 31, 2013 10:06 Age: 4 yrs

Orillia foundation hands out $17,000 in grants to local charities

Category: Announcement

The Sharing Place is grateful for the $1000 award for our Christmas hamper program from the Community Foundation of Orillia and Area. Over 600 hampers were distributed to people in need within our community to promote dignity, inclusiveness and a traditional family get together.

By Gisele Winton Sarvis, Orillia Packet & Times

ORILLIA - A baker’s dozen of charities can embark on new programs, continue popular programs and buy needed supplies thanks to grants provided by the Community Foundation of Orillia and Area (CFOA).

CFOA handed out $17,000 to 13 local charities Thursday morning at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

The Orillia and Area Seniors’ Centre received the largest cheque of the day at $3,250.

“The funding is very important,” said Brenda Holnbeck, director of the centre located at St. Andrew’s.

The church offers a wide variety of free seniors’ programs every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“In 2014, we will use that money to bring in more activities and a variety of activities for the seniors. We try to offer activities such as line dancing, exercises, tai chi, computers and we are looking at expanding that and having other presenters come in. We give (instructors) an honorarium,” Holnbeck said.

Activities are provided in the morning. Seniors pay $7 for their lunch, which is followed by a guest speaker and afternoon activities.

Some of the funds will also buy supplies for the woodworking and craft groups.

Michael Gordon, president of CFOA, which was founded in 1999, said it now has about $2.5 million in assets.

“Our goal is to have $5 million by 2017,” he told the crowd gathered for the grant ceremony.

The beauty of the endowment funds is they last forever, Gordon said.

The CFOA works by taking donations and bequests and investing that capital using money managers. While they don’t touch the capital, the interest and dividends made from the funds are given to charities by the CFOA every spring and fall.

Including the spring grants, the CFOA has handed out $52,000 this year.

“We had applications for nearly 30,000 this fall and we only had $17,000 to give, so it is a competitive process in the grants committee.

“We are doing our best to continue to raise more money so we have more to give away,” Gordon said.

This has been a good year with returns at 12.5% so far. Last year was also a strong one.

CFOA is required by law to grant at least 3.5%, said Gordon, who is a volunteer.

“It’s heart warming to see the kind of impact that the donations — that other people have made that we are doing a good job stewarding — are able to make in the community,” he said.