The Quesnel Community Foundation raised approximately $123,500 in its annual donation drive.
The donation drive ran from Nov. 1 to Dec. 7, and saw a $50,000 donation from an anonymous donor, and support from current and former Quesnel locals.
Foundation president Mary Sjostrom says she is thrilled with the total, although it’s slightly down from $133,847 raised last year. She says although the community has gone through hard times recently, the foundation “has had a fantastic year.”
Sjostrom says it’s also possible the total raised this year will increase from $123,500. With the postal strike, there could still be a few donations in the mail en route to the foundation.
She says the foundation also received a number of donations from former Quesnel residents. “I just want to thank them [for continuing to support the community].”
The president also gave her thanks to the board and co-ordinator of the foundation. “Everybody is so committed and dedicated to the foundation. That’s part of why we’re successful, and I don’t think they get recognized enough.”
Now that the donation drive has come to an end, the Foundation is open for grant applications for projects within the community, which will benefit local residents. The Foundation funds projects in the arts, education, environment recreation and social programs. In 2018, they supported 15 local groups: the Quesnel & District Heritage Association, Quesnel Tumbling Two Rivers Rock Club, Quesnel Pony Club, Gold Rush Cycling Club, Quesnel & District Senior Centre, Quesnel Old Time Fiddlers, Friends of Quesnel Museum, Quesnel Technics Gymnastics Club, Quesnel Youth Soccer Association, BCSPCA, Alex Fraser Park Society, Fit Pet Dogs Sports Association, Cariboo Ski Touring Club, Quesnel Curling Centre, and the Back Country Horsemen.
Since 2002, more than $556,000 has been awarded to support 190 community projects.
Sjostrom also added there would be some changes made to the Foundation Gala in 2019, which is moving back toward a formal, sit-down dinner. She says more details are to come, but the date is set for April 13, 2019.