MEDIA RELEASE Central Okanagan Foundation

COF's Fire Relief Fund will direct funds to neediest constituents

Aug. 28, 2003A national outpouring of concern for victims of the Okanagan Mountain Park forest fire has prompted the Central Okanagan Foundation to establish, as of today, the Central Okanagan Fire Relief Fund.

"In the past week, we have had many, many phone calls from our friends in other Community Foundations across the country and also from friends and neighbours here in the Okanagan," described Janice Henry, COF Executive Director, who was her self evacuated last week. "They all want to help very much and are looking for a way to ensure the funds are directed to the neediest constituencies. Because Community Foundations are well known and respected in all Canadian communities, and because it is our primary mandate to assist other community organizations, we have put together this special fund." The Fire Relief Fund will collect monies to be allocated by the COF's grants committee as needs arise. Henry and the Board of Directors foresee that many social service organizations have "gone to the wall" during this forest fire emergency and will need to have their finances replenished to be able to carry on for the rest of the year.

"Who will they be? We are not positive at this point because we don't know the full impact of this fire on our community, but the needs will come out over the next few weeks and months," she says, pointing out that "so many of the organizations that receive our grants help individuals directly." The COF is entirely complementary --- not competitive --- with other community organizations. The COF annually contributes thousands of dollars to the community through grants to organizations like the Red Cross, the SPCA, and many more.

Unlike most other funds administered by the COF, the Fire Relief Fund will not be endowed but will flow through directly to the community. No monies from it will be retained for administrative purposes. All donors will be issued tax receipts.

For more information or to contribute to the Central Okanagan Fire Relief Fund, please contact the COF at:

#217-1889 Springfield Road,

Kelowna, B.C. V1Y 5V5

Phone: (250) 861-6160

Fax: (250) 861-6156

Email: [email protected]