On Thursday 13 December 2018, members, friends and guests of the Foothills Foundation gathered at Mr Fox at Ringwood Golf Course for our annual Christmas Rendezvous.
At this function, we celebrate the festive season as well as the work of the Foundation over the past year. We also give out a number of grants to local community services and present the Clinton White Award for outstanding community service.
Our Secretary and Grants Manager, Bruce Stewart, reported that, since the last Rendezvous (December 2017), the Foothills Foundation has made 20 grants totaling $23,700. At the last Rendezvous we announced 5 grants totaling $7,000 to the Dining Room Mission, Heathmont Inter Church Help, ANCHOR, Anglicare and Melba Support. Each of these organizations have used the funds provided to support their programs aimed at disadvantaged groups in the Maroondah and Yarra Valley areas. This year, we announced a further 4 grants totaling $6,000 to local community groups.
Jim Allen (Anglicare) reported that they would use the funds provided in their Peaceful Warrior and Better Tomorrows programs.
Peter Harris (Southern Cross Kids Camps) stated that the funds provided would be used to enable vulnerable children to attend a week long camp and gain self-esteem and confidence.
Seema Sharma (Eastern Domestic Violence Service) announced that the funds would be used to train support staff in how to deal with people who are being impacted on by domestic violence.
Dianne Bull (Croydon Uniting Church Helping Hand Food Bank) reported that the $1,500 had been used to purchase $3,000 worth of food vouchers that would be provided to people in need, especially approaching Christmas.
Treena Medling and Gabrielle Young (EACH) reported on the positive impacts the grants had made on some of the recipients, especially those who would have been unable to obtain much needed equipment without the support of the Foundation. Treena spoke about how a recent grant of gap funding had indeed made for a happy Christmas for one of her clients. Gabrielle spoke about the benefits of the underwater plinth funded by the Foundation for use by EACH and other disability service providers at Aquanation. David Neef (COPE) thanked the Foundation for its grant that had enabled a program for the partners of people with mental disabilities to meet and gain the support needed to deal with the challenges they faced.
The formalities for the evening concluded with the award of the Clinton White Award for outstanding community service. It was presented by June and Brett White of the White family to Peter Feeney, an outstanding servant of Maroondah and wider communities over many many years and a long-term friend and loyal supporter of the Foundation.
May you all enjoy a safe and merry festive season and we look forward to seeing you again in 2019.