By John Swartz
The Community Foundation of Orillia and Area started in January 1999 with a start up donation from Casino Rama of $200,000 It actually started months before at the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour dinner when Jim Dykes was informing the people at his table about a new thing – community foundations – he heard about on a CBC radio program that day. Daphne Mainprize handed him the bread basket and someone else tossed a few dollars into it and the rest is history. Today the fund, which is actually made up of several smaller charitable funds, manages $4.2 million.
The idea is to put the interest earned into action in the community. Several times a year grants are made and one group of grants will be made in the fall, but first recipients have to be found. To date $670,000 has been granted to over 100 organizations. Currently nominations are being received for grants from four component funds.
The Smart and Caring Communities Fund, which previously went under the name Community Unrestricted Fund, is meant to aid areas of need in the community.
The Casino Rama Festive Fund established by employees of the casino to aid families at Christmas.
The Patti Cox Memorial Senior’s Fund provides grants to organizations which assist seniors and activates promoting independence and self-sufficiency.
The Patti Cox Memorial Children’s Fund was established to provide grants to organizations involved in children’s activities which focus on personal development.
Applications are being accepted until 3 p.m. October 4. The form can be found online. Grants are only made to registered charitable groups, or those that meet Canada Revenue Agency criteria.