Close to $50,000 will be donated to 24 community organizations in The Town of The Blue Mountains (TBM).
Although the donations are yet to be ratified by council vote, they were given unanimous support by council members at this week’s Committee of the Whole meeting.
Administered through the town’s grants and donations program, the money is raised through donation campaigns and community events like Lobsterfest and Oktoberfest.
Out of $64,102 available to the Grants and Donations Committee, $48,650 is set for donation – leaving just over $15,000 in the coffers for the future.
Earlier in 2021, the committee received requests for over $140,000 in grants and donations, while only having $34,718.55 to contribute.
As a result, TBM opened a second application process for community groups seeking funding, with some ultimately receiving top-ups to their original requests.
“We're fortunate enough to have a great Lobsterfest and go through a second round of financing because through COVID our events were hindered by multiple things, like many organizations,” said committee member Coun. Peter Bordignon.
Bordignon said, despite the challenges of COVID-19, 2021 was the best year for donations to the community yet.
“With our second round going out, we'll be able to make the largest donation out back to the community that has ever been done by TBM, and not one dollar of that is a taxpayers’ dollar,” he said.
“This [round of donations] determines to just under $49,000. In addition to the almost $40,000 we put out at the beginning of the year, so this is a large contribution back to the community members.”
Coun. Rob Sampson applauded the committee’s work, noting that grants and donations used to come from taxpayers’ money.
“I think the first year we were in council, somewhere in the neighborhood, I think, $50,000 [was taken] from the tax base to allocate out among these community groups, and you've now done it for just under 100 grand, with not a penny coming from the taxpayer,” he said.
The town moved the committee to a fundraising-based model in 2019.
The grants and donations being distributed to community groups are listed below:
Greg McGrath-Goudie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca