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Foundation proves its place in the community

Foundation proves its place in the community

Pleas for assistance through The Community Foundation of Hawke’s Bay amounted to more than $186,000 in the financial year ending March 31, 2006.

The foundation was able to locate more than one-third of that money to help charities and worthy causes throughout the province, but wishes it had been able to help to an even greater extent, said the chairman, Mr Peter Dunkerley, in his annual report released today. “There are some great programmes and worthy causes out there –– and a lot of unsung people,” he said.

The foundation will be able to help them more in their work as its own pool of endowments grows. In the past year more than $1-million has been identified as a start to endowment funding.

The Community Foundation (HB) had its origins in the Hawke’s Bay Health Trust formed to mark the new millennium. That has evolved into a group with a wider purpose. It is now a philanthropic non-profit trust targetting identified needs throughout the province with project-based funding, guidance or mentoring.

In the year under review, its helping hand extended to field officers and co-ordinators for the aged in Hastings, Flaxmere and Central Hawke’s Bay. The foundation provided defibrillators in Waipukurau and Flaxmere. It continued with funding for health-transport assistance for the people of Central Hawke’s Bay, also training for budget advisors, youth workers and victim support. There was help for the deaf, for the Napier-based Backup Trust and assistance for Maraenui’s night patrols.

A children’s oral health project which the foundation is supporting started to take shape this year. The project is intended to expand to schools across the province if trials are successful. The community foundation also continued its support for Sport Hawke’s Bay’s programme against child obesity.

The community foundation is working to establish funding both for now and for tomorrow. “We aim to build substantial funding through endowments and gifts. A study over the next few months should establish the feasibility of that,” said Mr Dunkerley.

While the larger task is in progress, the foundation, with the assistance of philanthropic groups, private individuals and business houses, The Tindall Foundation, Guardian Trust, Southern Cross, Kingdom Foundation and others, has been recognising groups in Hawke’s Bay which have needs and not the resources. The community foundation located on average 52 cents per head of population in the year under review. It believes it can do better than that as its work and its resources become more widely known.

Some signature projects proposed will have an impact for years to come, if they pass the board’s measures and can be funded.

The trustees possess a mix of commercial skill and experience in the public arena. They have been contributing personally toward the costs of administration, but, owing to a shortfall in administration funding in both 2006 and 2005, the board is restructuring its operations, to reduce overheads.

Mr Dunkerley, chairman since 2002, is perhaps better known as a pharmacist and former owner of the “luckiest Lotto shop in the land.” He is the highest-polling elected member of the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board. He has had a long involvement with the Hawke’s Bay Rescue Helicopter Trust and Rotary. His personal sponsorships in Hawke’s Bay range from rugby to Opera Hawke’s Bay and bowls.

With him in the year 2005-2006 have been semi-retired Napier ophthalmologist Dr David Sabiston, Waipukurau JP and former district councillor Diana Petersen, Hastings lawyer Mark von Dadelszen whose specialties include charitable trusts, retired editor James Morgan of Twyford (the longest-serving board member), and Napier businesswoman Alison (Ali) McCarthy. They are supported on the foundation’s allocations committee by Waa Harris, Pakipaki.

New Zealand’s Tindall Foundation has helped in establishing the trust; the Hawke’s Bay Helicopter Trust has provided boardroom facilities and Centracorp Finance Ltd has provided an office, Mr Dunkerley reported.

ENDS

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