Community Connections – September 2014


 … to Community Connections 

the newsletter of the Bowen Island Community Foundation. This is a new initiative of the Foundation to allow us to more regularly communicate with Bowen Islanders. We are excited to share our news with you and to highlight how the generous support of our donors and contributors has benefitted the community of Bowen Island. If you have questions, comments, or ideas for our next newsletter, we invite you to get in touch with us! 

soren hammerbergAs the new Chair of the Bowen Island Community Foundation, I am enthused about the opportunity to enhance and develop policies that will help us continue to build a caring community. The Foundation is committed to openness and accountability in an effort to earn your ongoing support, trust and confidence. Charitable funds entrusted to us are managed with the highest of ethical standards and are invested to support island causes and charities.

I invite you to read our recent publication, Vital Conversation, the result of a truly collaborative effort to gather input towards a better understanding of community interests and needs. The information presented in Vital Conversation will help guide the Foundation’s granting process, and the event served as a platform to listen to the community, promote meaningful and respectful dialogue and initiate further conversation.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I hope you enjoy this newsletter as we strive to improve communication with our friends and donors. Your input and feedback are valued.


Soren Hammerberg

A Milestone Year

In 2014,  the Foundation celebrates 10 years of community leadership and philanthropy. Over the last decade, the Foundation has been entrusted with $875,000 in endowments, and since 2004, has contributed $100,000 to Bowen causes.  Wow. Thank you to our donors and supporters who are committed to helping us build a stronger, caring community.

Joyce Ganong

A Tireless Leader and Community Champion

The BICF Board of Directors would like to publicly recognize the extraordinary community service of our Past Chair, Joyce Ganong, who retired earlier this year. Joyce worked tirelessly behind the scenes for the past eight years to help make Bowen a better place to live. Bowen is lucky to have such an amazing leader and community champion. Thank you Joyce! Please visit our website to meet the current Board of Directors .

Raise your glass for the Food Bank!

Join us for a special wine tasting event in support of the Bowen Island Food Bank

Friday, September 12, 2014, 3pm-6pm, Bowen Island Beer and Wine Cellar, 996 Dorman Rd. at Village Square (under the Ruddy Potato).

Hosted by the Bowen Island Community Foundation, this event will feature wines from Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, introduced by CEO Sandra Oldfield. We welcome you to come by to meet members of the BICF Board of Directors and enjoy a glass of wine, while contributing to an important island cause.

  • Silent auction item: 2-night stay at the Tinhorn Creek Guesthouse in beautiful Oliver, BC, kindly donated by Tinhorn Creek – value $700!For those who cannot attend the event, bids will be accepted by telephone on September 11 and 12, 2014. Auction closes at 6pm on September 12, 2014. Please call 604 947 2729. 
  • Admission is by donation; all proceeds will support the Food Bank.
  • Non-perishable food items also gratefully accepted.

2014 Foundation Highlights: Something to Celebrate!

In this anniversary year, we have much to celebrate. Here are some highlights…

2014 Community Grants Program

The Call for Proposals is now open for the Foundation’s 2014 granting cycle. This year $25,000 in grants is available to community groups. This is possible in part due to the generous donations received from Bowen Islanders during the Foundation’s giving campaign last fall. For more information and details about how to apply, go to the Bowen Island Community Impact Fund page on our website.

Scholarship Spotlight

The Foundation is pleased to support Bowen Island students as they pursue their education. In 2014, $12,500 was awarded to Bowen students, and since 2004 the Community Foundation has provided close to $100,000 in scholarships, bursaries and grants. One lucky recipient for 2014 is Jack Welsh, who received a $500 scholarship from the Bowen Island Junior Golf Scholarship Fund towards his studies at UBC Okanagan starting in September. Jack is especially grateful for the scholarship funds because he was selected to play for the Canadian Junior Football League this summer, which meant he was not available to work and earn money during the summer holidays.

Vital Conversations

In May, the BICF hosted Bowen Island Vital Conversations – an event aimed at gathering input towards creating a clearer picture of community needs. About 60 islanders, intentionally selected for maximum diversity, participated in the half-day agenda. Their mission? To help guide the Foundation’s work, with both donors and grant recipients, on initiatives that touch all aspects of our communityThrough a series of questions to guide the conversation, participants identified the strengths of the community; opportunities for improvement; root causes and obstacles underlying the opportunity areas; and a wide range of possible solutions. The event was a great success and the results of the conversation will serve as a vital guide for the BICF’s work moving forward. We invite you to read the Vital Conversations report.

A Helping Hand

One mark of a caring community is that we are able to support each other by extending a helping hand in times of crisis. The BICF Helping Hand Fund (formerly known as our Community Chest) is designed to enable us to do just that, offering an emergency response fund to Bowen Islanders facing extraordinary circumstances. Families and individuals in urgent need are referred to the Helping Hand Fund through partnerships with other community organizations, such as the RCMP, the Caring Circle and the Bowen Island Community School, to ensure a coordinated and strategic response. The BICF supports the fund through the Little Red Church, which in turn provides one-time gifts to those in need. Already this ‘fund of last resort’, which is administered by a small volunteer committee that ensures absolute privacy and confidentiality, has provided funds to help a number of Bowen Islanders. For one family, the fund helped pay the rent for the month they needed to spend at Ronald McDonald House while their child was sick and they were not able to work. For a senior on Bowen, the fund provided the bridge needed to help them navigate through a time of financial distress. With great gratitude, one recipient remarked that the Helping Hand Fund was a true expression of Bowen’s community caring spirit and that the gift they received had made them feel less vulnerable and less alone.

Maggie Cumming Legacy Fund

We are so grateful to Maggie Cumming who left her beloved Bowen Island a significant bequest, entrusted to the Foundation, to carry on her work of preserving the island’s natural beauty while increasing the network of trails. To commemorate Maggie’s generous gift, and in celebration of her contribution to trails and parks on Bowen Island, the BICF has created a lasting memory of her legacy in a book – The Maggie Cumming Story. Read more about Maggie’s story, and how to purchase her book online, on our website here.

Supporting the Work of the Foundation
If you would like to learn more about the work of the BICF, and how donor contributions are making a difference in our community, please visit our website
To find out about making a donation to the Foundation, please visit the donor section of our site. With your continued financial support, the Foundation works to make Bowen a better, more caring community. Tax receipts are issued for all donations over $20.