We are now launching our fundraising campaign for 2016, with one particular focus this year on creating new scholarships for youth. Our goal is to raise $15,000 annually to support post secondary scholarships for Bowen’s youth. If you share this goal, please make donations to our Youth Fund.
Many Bowen Islanders will probably be surprised to learn of the breadth of scholarships already available, and administered by the Foundation. The Knick Knack Nook Society made $13,000 in bursaries available this year for Bowen students pursuing academic studies. And while all students were required to demonstrate a commitment to the environment and a capacity for leadership, they were also given the flexibility to pursue a diverse range of subjects in universities and colleges. A further $3,500 in post-secondary scholarships and bursaries was provided by the Aaron Sluggett Memorial Scholarship, the Bowen Island Golf Association Scholarships, and the Maggie Cumming Bursaries, also administered by the Foundation.
Newly minted University of Toronto student Jasmine Gish hasn’t forgotten her roots. “Feels like full circle,” she said after receiving a $2,000.00 Knick Knack Nook Scholarship—one of many distributed, in part, by Bowen Island’s Community Foundation. It’s hard to disagree with Jasmine’s reminiscence about her appointment to the original Knick Knack Nook committee—when she was in fifth grade. The scholarship helps, but for Jasmine, and the other Bowen Islanders striking out to make their mark at colleges, universities, and technical schools, there’s still a lot of school to be paid for.
Can you imagine yourself contributing to the futures of those who are growing up on Bowen Island, and considering the possibility of post secondary education? You can give to our Youth Fund, as noted above, or perhaps endow a scholarship of your own – maybe working with some friends and family to accomplish that goal? Whatever your contribution to scholarships on the island, the Foundation will be appreciative.
A second focus for the 2016 giving season is our Helping Hand Fund, administered by a volunteer committee, chaired by Shelagh MacKinnon of the Little Red Church, and providing help for those on Bowen who face personal emergencies. These are typically islanders who may not be connected to systems of social support and wh encounter sudden financial stress, due to illness, accident or other emergency –- and who are in need of a “helping hand” from the community. Money is provided anonymously for such emergencies and each year the Foundation commits $10,000 in funding for this initiative.
Please consider giving in some way to the Foundation this year to help strengthen your community; no amount is too small. And beyond our focus for 2016 –- scholarships and the Helping Hand Fund – we have many other options. Donations to our Community Impact Fund are always appreciated. They give the Board the discretion to provide opportunities to support the community, as the priorities of islanders develop over time. Whatever your choice — a donation to a targeted fund, or to a more general contribution — please consider a gift this season. The letter that all Bowen Islanders have recently received in their mailboxes notes of our work, “Our vision is to be an ethical steward of endowed gifts, enriching lives on Bowen Island in perpetuity through philanthropy –
For Bowen, For Ever”.