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Retired Hilda farmer helps open endowment fund for HALO

Posted on January 7, 2020 by 40 Mile Commentator
Commentator/courier file pHOTO Sue Edwards, then Community Foundation executive director , with retired Hilda farmer Marvin Fischer, who along with wife Jean donated to the CFSEA to start an Agency Endowment Fund for HALO in this 2020 file photo. Cypress County council approved to start their own community fund in the municipality at their Nov. 16 meeting.

By Samantha Johnson

Commentator/Courier Freelancer

Paul Carolan, CEO of HALO, is very excited about the new endowment fund that has been created.
“I think there are so many great causes in the area and HALO has been committed to finding other fundraising streams. We see it (the endowment fund) as an investment in the future,” said Carolan.
“HALO is sensitive to how important fundraising is and this ties in very well with our commitment to southern Alberta. The endowment fund will help support that for years to come.”
Recently, a retired farmer and his wife who live in Hilda, Marvin and Jean Fischer, donated to the Community Foundation of Southeast Alberta to start the Agency Endowment fund.
“HALO has been important to me for a number of years and it is vital for this area to have the service they provide. I understand the donation my wife and I made was the initial seed money used to put the endowment in place and I hope others will contribute to it as well,” said Fischer.
Niki Gray, community engagement coordinator with the Community Foundation, explained “all donations made to the HALO Agency Fund are invested and the investment income will be designated to HALO.”
Sue Edwards, assistant director at the Community Foundation elaborated, “endowments aren’t in and out money, it is more about sustainability and succession money for their future. All the fundraising HALO currently does is for right now, for their annual budget.”
“I would say Spring of 2021 is when HALO will get their first payment from this endowment funds with payments coming to them annually after that,” she said.
The HALO endowment fund is open, so anyone can contribute to it. The larger the amount of permanently endowed funds, the greater the security for HALO.
“The initial donations are never spent; the investment income is the money given out each year. If someone wants their money to last forever, the endowment fund is the way to contribute,” explained Gray.
Both Gray and Edwards wanted to stress they don’t want to be turning people away from HALO’s other fundraising events, which are equally important.
Edwards added, “the Community Foundation talks lots about leaving legacies. Not so much about how you want to be remembered but what does a person want to continue after they are no longer around. What is your important need?”
There is a family connection between Edwards and the initial donor, as she is Marvin Fischer’s daughter.
“Dad has always been fond of HALO. For his 80th birthday shenanigans he stated he didn’t want gifts, he wanted people to make donations to HALO. Everyone that came to the party threw some money in the hat and Dad went down and made the donation directly to HALO. He understands the need for the service HALO provides for the rural communities.”
Edwards started working for the Community Foundation in July of 2018 and within the first few months in her new role, numerous people walked in or phoned wanting to know if HALO had an endowment fund.
“I identified it right away as a community need. Knowing of my father’s regard for HALO, I mentioned the need to him. He didn’t make the initial donation for the accolades, he did it for HALO.”
Gray added, “ever since HALO has been raising their profile, the Foundation has been getting more inquiries regarding an endowment fund for them.”
Edwards thinks it is about getting the word out now there is an endowment fund for HALO.
“It is about getting the word out to the community and the yearly donors to the Community Foundation to let them know there is now an open endowment fund dedicated to HALO that can be contributed to,” said Edwards.
“The goal is so HALO doesn’t have to do as much annual fundraising. We hope the fund takes some pressure off them.”

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