Valley association receives six-figure donation

The Comox Valley Community Foundation’s assets have just been increased by $811,287.75 — its biggest gift ever.

The Comox Valley Community Foundation’s assets have just been increased by $811,287.75 — its biggest gift ever.

This donation from the Comox Valley Association for Mentally Handicapped People (CVAMHP) will be used to establish a permanent endowment fund for the benefit of those with developmental disabilities in the Comox Valley.

The annual income it creates will be disbursed to local charities that provide, among other things, social and recreational opportunities for those with a developmental disability.

“This is an incredible gift to this community,” said Andrea Rowe, president of the CVCF. “Our sincere thanks go out to the Comox Valley Association for Mentally Handicapped People for deciding the Foundation is the right organization to manage and distribute the income of the fund in the manner originally intended.”

Recently CVAMHP decided to wind up its operations. The members felt they could no longer ensure the greatest returns for the community they served.

“We are delighted with our decision,” said CVAMHP president Joan Carson. “There is no organization better suited than the Community Foundation to take on this responsibility. These funds will now be able to work even harder for the people our organization has been supporting for the last 45 years.”

What began as the Bevan Lodge Society in 1968 has changed dramatically over the years. As needs and policies changed, the CVAMHP took on vocational, life skills and semi-independent living programs and operated the Lillian Lefcoe Adult Training Centre in Courtenay. In 2000 that building was sold and the proceeds were invested to provide an ongoing source of funding for programs.

“Over the years the association has supported numerous organizations,” said Susan Klimczak, secretary of CVAMHP. “We were no longer delivering direct services but others, such as the Beaufort Association, Special Olympics and the Courtenay and Comox recreation centres continued to provide valuable services, and we were able to support them.”

One thing both CVAMHP and the Community Foundation make perfectly clear is that this new fund will be dedicated to supporting similar programs.

“The basic purpose and use of these funds will continue,” said Rowe. “The biggest advantage is the fact that when the funds are invested, they will be pooled with other funds, which in turn provides an opportunity to generate greater returns at a lower cost.”

“That was really important to us,” said Joan Carson. “This is a legacy that we needed to maintain. We wanted to make sure that these funds would remain available, forever, for assisting people with developmental disabilities and at the same time help make the fund grow so that it could always provide financial aid.

“Many people in the Comox Valley who are interested in assisting people with developmental disabilities – today and tomorrow — can now make a donation to this fund at the CVCF. In some ways, it’s a new beginning.”

The Comox Valley Community Foundation was founded in 1996 with just $50,000. Since then, with this latest addition, the amount of funds working for the CVCF have grown to over $4 million.

“This money represents over 70 funds that the Foundation manages on behalf of individuals, families, businesses and other organizations,” said Rowe. “As an independent organization, guided by a dedicated group of knowledgeable volunteers, we are happy to provide a service of stewardship for these funds. Equally as important is the annual disbursement of earnings to local charitable organizations whose projects help enrich life in the Comox Valley.”

Since its founding, the Foundation has disbursed over $1.2 million to local charities.

For further information about the Foundation, to find out how you can help or to learn about the granting process, visit www.cvcfoundation.org

— Comox Valley Community Foundation

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