Two new funds created to support community

KENILWORTH – Two new funds are being created to support the Wellington North community and its youth.

On Dec. 16, councillors voted to establish a Wellington North Community Fund and Wellington North Youth Fund, contributing $25,000 to each.

Council also authorized a partnership agreement with Centre Wellington Community Foundation (CWCF) to administer funds on Wellington North’s behalf.

A report by economic development officer Dale Small noted Raymond Soucy, executive director of the CWCF, spoke at two previous joint Mapleton, Minto, Wellington North Economic Development meetings in 2018 and 2019.

“One of the challenges that all small rural communities face is not only trying to obtain new investment into our communities, but to also ensure we have the mechanisms in place to keep current wealth from leaving our rural communities,” Small stated in the report.

He noted one of the mechanisms many communities have utilized is to establish a community foundation.

Small explained the CWCF is a public charitable foundation established in 2009 that currently manages over 20 community funds including:

– the Centre Wellington Community Fund, a core non-restricted fund able to grant to a broad range of causes;

– the Centre Wellington Youth Fund, which supports a range of activities including mentorship, social services, employment, education, physical fitness and other community activities; and

– the Elora Green Space Fund, which supports the development and upkeep of green spaces.

Small said Wellington North has held a number of discussions with the CWCF and most of council also attended at least one of the joint Mapleton, Minto, Wellington North Economic Development Committee meetings at which Soucy spoke.

Rather than the township establishing its own community foundation, Small told council “we would be best served to leverage the experience and knowledge of the CWCF and establish a partnership arrangement with them.”

Small said CWCF would manage and invest the Wellington North funds, review and approve grant applications, issue tax receipts and work to further promote and market the benefits of a community foundation.

Small recommended establishing two funds: the Wellington North Community Fund, a core non-restricted fund for a broad range of causes, and the Wellington North Youth Fund, specifically targeting activities to develop youth.

He noted that in previous years, Wellington North allocated $50,000 towards community initiated projects. While he said the program has proven somewhat successful, “we believe it is time to evolve to another program.”

Councillor Sherry Burke asked if the funding was something new for 2020.

Small said the funds will replace the $50,000 the township previously allocated for community-initiated programs.