Prime Time: Leaving a legacy to the community

Al and Gayle Jones outside the mural depicting Lone Butte’s history. The Lone Butte Historical Association received a grant from the South Cariboo Community Enhancement Foundation this year. (Kelly Sinoski, 100 Mile Free Press photo)Al and Gayle Jones outside the mural depicting Lone Butte’s history. The Lone Butte Historical Association received a grant from the South Cariboo Community Enhancement Foundation this year. (Kelly Sinoski, 100 Mile Free Press photo)
Judy Simkins, treasurer of the South Cariboo Community Enhancement Foundation. (Kelly Sinoski photo, 100 MIle Free Press).

Across the South Cariboo, legacies are everywhere.

Whether it’s a home passed down through the generations, a community or a pet project, the generosity of residents has left its stamp on the town. At the 100 Mile District General Hospital, for instance, a resident bequeathed nearly $1 million to the South Cariboo Health Foundation for a new emergency ward, while others have donated funds for much-needed equipment.

The foundation’s annual Starry Nights campaign, set to kick off the third Friday in November, will help support Interior Health and the 100 Mile District Hospice Palliative Care Society to create a comfortable space for two palliative care patients in acute care.

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“This year I think people will really get behind it because of the issue,” said Brenda Devine, who does public relations and fundraising for the Health Foundation. “People have loved ones with serious conditions.”

Those willing to donate have many options, whether it’s to the Health Foundation or to the South Cariboo Community Enhancement Foundation (SCCEF), which funds education scholarships, amateur sports, the arts or environmental causes or whatever other wishes people may have.

Donors who bequeath their funds – whether part of their will, estate, RRSPs or deferred gifts or cash – receive significant tax savings, said Judy Simkins, treasurer of the SCCEF. On a $25,000 donation, for instance, the net savings are in the area of $7,200 which can be spread out over five years.

The SCCEF started 2013 with $600,000 in seed money from the Cariboo Regional District, District of 100 Mile House and Northern Development Initiative Trust. It uses the growth on that money to provide up to $20,000 in grants to community organizations every year. Similar to the Health Foundation, residents can specify how they want their money used. It could go to a program for the needy, for instance, or to upgrading Martin Exeter Hall or to the 108 Mile Historical Society. One of Simkins favourite SCCEF grants was to the Special Olympics to buy snowshoe equipment.

While the health donations are great because everyone uses the hospital, she said, the enhancement grants help provide other things that might be important to individuals and families. This year, the SCCEF provided grant money went to a new boat launch at Timothy Lake, a dishwasher for the community hall, and monies for the Lone Butte Historical Society, White Cane Club and the Stemete7uw’i Friendship Centre.

“They can tell us what they want to do with it,” Simkins said. “It just gives people more opportunities. Everyone has a pet project or interest they feel really strongly about, this widens it out.

“It works out quite nicely. There are great tax benefits and you get to feel good because you’re giving back to the community. That makes a big difference because different people have different things.”

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