Community Foundation celebrates milestones

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Created with the goal of establishing a permanent financial legacy to benefit Airdrie and area, the Airdrie and District Community Foundation (ADCF) is celebrating the achievement of several important milestones in 2017.

Over the past year, the organization raised nearly $100,000 for endowments, and provided its first two grants to deserving recipients – $5,000 to Airdrie and District Victims Assistance and $500 to the Airdrie Boys and Girls Club.

“This group was created about ten years ago, but really only turned a corner over the last two or three years, when we got our charitable status and could begin issuing tax receipt numbers,” said Dale Rathgeber, foundation chair. “I believe every community should have a community foundation, so there are always funds available to support local charities that need help.”

With support from sponsors Alberta Treasury Branch (ATB) and Atco, the foundation hosted a fundraising gala in May of 2017. Rathgeber said this provided the foundation with a solid amount for a capital deposit, which will be held in perpetuity while the interest is awarded each year to grant recipients.

“We have an application process for charities that need funding, they can apply on our website,” Rathgeber said. “Organizations like this are chronically underfunded, but they are the front-line service providers that really have their feet on the ground, helping the people who need them. By providing them with financial support, we’re helping them help the needy of Airdrie.”

Each application is considered by the 13 community members, including Mayor Peter Brown, who sit on the ADCF board of directors. According to Rathgeber, the board goes through an approval process which includes evaluating each application with regard to the organization’s impact to the community.

“At this point, since we’ve only given away two grants, we don’t have narrower criteria than that,” Rathgeber said.

The foundation is already accepting applications for 2018 grants, as Rathgeber said ADCF will be looking at providing another donation of the interest collected on the amount currently in the bank. He added 2018 donations will likely be announced in April or May.

The foundation aims to raise $500,000 over the next five years, he said, to provide additional opportunities for more recipients to benefit from ADCF’s endowment funds.

“We’re really hoping to build an enduring legacy for the city of Airdrie, so that we can make sure these organizations can always access the money they need to continue providing services for the people who live here,” Rathgeber said.

For more information, visit airdriefoundation.ca

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