It’s been just over two years since the valley community learned that a long-time Canal Flats resident had left a huge amount of money to the Columbia Valley Community Foundation with the intention of helping individuals who require financial assistance to further their education and careers. Mr. Ellis had set up the Arnold Ellis Scholarship Fund with an initial donation in 2004, then after he passed away in January 2012, upon receipt of his estate assets, the fund exceeded $2 million.
It was an extraordinaory announcement.
The community foundation ensures the gift amounts are kept intact, generating income from the interest that accrues, which is then distributed to community projects, organizations and individuals throughout the year on an application basis.
At the time of the Ellis announcement, the foundation told The Valley Echo it had endowment funds totalling $800,000 that could generate about $20,000 in a good year, and that Mr. Ellis’ donation would increase their giving capacity by about $50,000 a year.
Since that time, two new endowment funds have been added and the foundation’s endowment assets are now upwards of $3 million.
This translates into a lot of giving back to the community.
Reading through the list of community groups that received a combined total of $32,000 in 2014, one is struck by the incredible reach the Columbia Valley Community Foundation is now able to have, with a paid employee and physical office space to boot — objectives from 2012 which the foundation has now achieved. From environmental education to trail building to animal welfare to music, community gardening and local history, the community foundation has got it covered. Furthermore, last year local students collected $64,000 to help them achieve their dreams.
What remarkable work thanks to those generous donors whose charitable gifts make it all possible — gifts that truly keep on giving in perpetuity.