Jimmy Pelk, president of the Thompson Community Foundation, talked to the Thompson Chamber of Commerce Feb. 12 regarding the foundation’s activities and the Feb. 21 deadline for grant applications.
“We are a group of volunteer community members that help direct the funds of the foundation’s endowment campaign,” he said. “Members of the board consist of educators, business people, lawyers, professionals, all wanting to make the community a better place for the next generation. Our mission statement is to create a growing investment pool of capital resources, and use revenue earned by the capital to benefit the community of Thompson.”
The Thompson Community Foundation has been in operation since 1996 and gave away $100,000 last year.
“Last year we gave to Men are Part of The Solution, the hospital auxiliary, the City of Thompson parks and recreation, minor hockey, the skating club, the Boys & Girls Club and others. Over the last five years, we’ve given back just over $450,000. Since 1996, we’ve given $1,254,574 in donations directly back to the community. It’s pretty cool to be a part of.”
There is currently just over $1 million in the Thompson Community Foundation fund, said Pelk.
“Once money goes into the endowment fund, we never, ever spend that money. The only money we ever spend and give back is the interest. So, the endowment fund always goes up. It will go down as the investment changes, but we never give money out of that endowment fund.”
Pelk said the foundation’s money is raised through donations from current and former community members, businesses “and fundraising events such as the wine tasting that we do every spring, and our community Order of Thompson dinner event that happens every September.”
Pelk also explained that money received from wills and estates is a significant aspect of the fund that allows money to be given perpetually.
The fund’s current projects include enhancing the Eastwood Park with new equipment, paths, picnic tables, a splash pad and other items.