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Yarmouth Area Community Fund turns 10 this year

Peter Eldridge and Mary Eldridge, co-chairs of the Yarmouth Area Community Fund, which was created 10 years ago.
Peter Eldridge and Mary Eldridge, co-chairs of the Yarmouth Area Community Fund, which was created 10 years ago. - Eric Bourque

YARMOUTH, NS – A decade after it was established, the Yarmouth Area Community Fund continues to grow and more people are becoming aware of it.

To date, the fund has issued 74 grants to various groups in support of different community projects, including 13 this year worth $15,355. By comparison, in 2009, the year after it was created, the fund issued three grants worth $1,200.

The total value of grants issued between 2009 and this year is $45,085.

“Although our goals have been high, I’m very pleased that we’ve gotten as far as we have over the last 10 years and that we’ve been able to give out 74 grants,” said Mary Eldridge, who co-chairs the Yarmouth Area Community Fund with her husband, Peter.

Efforts to promote the fund got a boost when they had a chance to speak to the 100 Guys Who Share Yarmouth County and to the 100+ Women Who Care of Yarmouth County.

The 100 Guys gave the community fund $12,400 in January. The fund gave half of the money to the Pubnico Fire Relief Fund. (The rest would be used to support various causes and initiatives.) In June, the community fund received an $8,700 pledge from the 100+ Women.

Another positive development has been an agreement with ScotianWind whereby the Yarmouth Area Community Fund will receive one per cent annually over the next 20 years of gross revenue from the Brenton (Yarmouth County) wind project.

Mary Eldridge says they continue to try to get the word out about the community fund.

“We’re noticing more and more people are checking the Facebook page, which is good,” she said. “More and more people are getting to know about us.”

One way to contribute to the community fund is by making a memorial donation, which those involved in the fund are trying to encourage people to do.

The community fund has an advisory board, members of which will get together and “brainstorm,” Mary Eldridge said.

She said the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia, which supports the Yarmouth Area Community Fund, is planning a one-day training session for Sept. 14 in Halifax for those interested in starting a community fund.

“They’re bringing in a fellow from Nebraska,” she said.  “Nebraska is a state that has been very successful with community funds.”

For more on this session, contact the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia at 902-490-9916 or infocfns@cfns-fcne.ca

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