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Celebrating 20 Years!

We are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Comox Valley Community Foundation this month! It may not come as a surprise that like so many great Canadian ideas, this one began around a table, with a group of caring, community minded people. A little over 20 years ago, former Comox Valley MLA the late Stan Hagen approached several friends and supporters in the local business community with the idea of starting a community foundation. Accountant Murray Presley was one of them: “None of us in the room knew anything about community foundations,” recounted Presley, “but Stan made it sound like we could be a Comox Valley version of the Vancouver Foundation and that was all we needed to know. A few of us sat around our boardroom table and put names of  community leaders on a white board as prospective Foundation directors. These people reflected different strengths, diverse political interests, not to mention a few with significant assets,” laughs Presley. “We wanted to set it up in a way that no one interest group would be able to control the Foundation. It was important that lots of different groups would always be represented.”

From these humble beginnings 20 years ago, the Comox Valley Community Foundation has grown into a respected organization for honouring its donors’ legacies, and for enriching life in the Comox Valley by distributing funds to local charities. The Foundation has awarded more than $1.75 million to community organizations and last year climbed to more than $11.5 million in assets.

Former CVC Foundation President and a founding director, Richard Swift, sums up the experience this way: “I told Stan that I thought the Foundation would be his greatest legacy to the Comox Valley. I think that the growth – and impact – of the Foundation in its first 20 years means my prediction may well turn out to be accurate.