Grants support local projects

By Simon Ruppert

Greta Landcare Group (GLC), Tomorrow Today and two Wangaratta-based charities have received grants from the June Canavan Foundation (JCF).

Grants totalling $201,200 were distributed last month targeting organisations that were severely affected from recent bushfires, drought, flood or COVID-19.

GLC received $10,000 towards a project to help save the Southern Pygmy Perch fish from extinction in the north-east.

That money was secured via an application from Into Our Hands Foundation, which also secured $2500 for "Give Wangaratta", which will be used to finance an event to promote community giving.

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Tomorrow Today received $10,000, which will help pay for the construction of an outdoor space for its successful Parents Early Education Partnership (PEEP) program.

Tomorrow Today Chair Rosie Koop said everyone at the foundation was thrilled and grateful for the grant.

“Our staff are really passionate about this project,” Ms Koop said.

“With so many of us stuck indoors during COVID-19 it's more important than ever to get families and kids outside.

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“We have a great space out the back here, but at the moment it's not a safe space for kids to play.

“So this grant will allow us to develop a really terrific outdoor area and we're very excited about it.”

Ms Koop said the foundation was discussing ideas for its design.

“Our staff are all getting involved and helping to decide what it will look like,” she said.

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“We are hoping for a variety of thing with the opportunity for messy outdoor activities with water and sand.

“We are fortunate to have a decent-sized yard, which is so important in terms of social distancing.

“It is out the back of Cecily Crt, and a lot of people don't even know it's there.

“It has four big elms, so there is natural shade and we are looking forward to being able to use it.

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“With any luck we will have it up and ready this summer, in time for Christmas, that is what we're aiming for.”

Tomorrow Today would struggle to provide the volume and range of philanthropic programs they do without charitable donations and grants.

And Ms Koop said the foundation was grateful for the assistance it received.

“We're enormously grateful to the June Canavan Foundation,” she said.

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“The outdoor area is something our staff are really passionate about, and the timing is perfect.

“There is such a great need to get children outside, and away from screens, and this is a really good opportunity for us to get outside with the children and enjoy nature.”

As part of this funding JCF also distributed grants to:

● Friends of Lucluta (Timor Leste) Wangaratta, which received $2200 for booklets to assist early childhood education;

● Confident Girls Foundation, which received $5000 to support young female netballers in the north-east; and

● Foundation for Regional and Rural Renewal, which received $5000 for back to school vouchers to be distributed throughout the north-east.

For more information on the work of the June Canavan Foundation, visit this link.

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