Port Coquitlam Foundation Takes a Step Forward

Port Coquitlam, BC – May 15, 2012. Port Coquitlam residents will soon have a new way to support their community, following the appointment of the new Port Coquitlam Community Foundation board Monday night. Similar to community foundations in other cities, the new charitable society will raise, manage and distribute funds for initiatives and programs that benefit Port Coquitlam and are beyond the scope of local government. The City is providing start-up assistance for the foundation, including a matching grant of $35,000. “This is a tangible way for people to improve the quality of life within Port Coquitlam through an organization that is arms’ length from the civic government,” said Cllr. Michael Wright, who spearheaded the project. “Money donated to the foundation will be tax deductible. People who don’t want to pay more taxes or donate to the City will feel better about donating to a foundation, where their funds are used for projects that enhance the community.” The new foundation board, appointed at the society’s first annual general meeting Monday night, will meet for the first time on June 13 to elect positions and establish plans for the launch of the foundation and future fund-raising efforts. The inaugural board includes 11 members of the community: Dave Allen, Ron Csermak, Janine Davies, John Diack, Clayton Derochie, Johanne Dumas, Roger Fast, Guy Lapierre, Margaret Owens, Tom Ramsay and Ingmar Wilkens. The twelfth director is Cllr. Wright, who will initially serve as a City liaison. That seat will later be turned over to the community when the foundation board sees fit to do so. Mayor Greg Moore noted that a community foundation is a good fit for Port Coquitlam, given its abundant PoCo Pride and spirit. “Port Coquitlam is still a small town that people love and believe in, and they want contribute to its success,” he said. “This gives them an opportunity to give back to their community.” Through the foundation, individuals and organizations will be able to create lasting legacies for Port Coquitlam by contributing to endowment funds that will fulfill a broad range of community needs and opportunities. These may include: sports, fitness and recreation; arts, culture and heritage; assistance to the homeless; the environment; community safety; building community spirit; and improvements to community quality of life. The funds will be made available to local organizations through a grant process. Donors will also be able to direct their funds to individual community organizations through the foundation.