Grants given a top-up

Central Leader - - News - By Scott Morgan

Com­mu­nity groups came away with more money than they asked for at the Avon­dale Com­mu­nity Board last month.

Just un­der $3000 was given out, fully fund­ing sev­eral lo­cal events even though or­gan­is­ers only asked for par­tial con­tri­bu­tions.

Chair­man Dun­can Macdon­ald says they were “feel­ing gen­er­ous” be­cause the fi­nan­cial year ends on June 30, and money left over would have been re­turned to the coun­cil.

“There’s pos­si­bly $2000 that might go back into coun­cil cof­fers,” Mr Macdon­ald says.

“It’s a real em­bar­rass­ment if we can’t dis­trib­ute it to com­mu­nity groups.”

Mr Macdon­ald says groups de­serve full fund­ing where pos­si­ble be­cause of the time put into or­gan­is­ing worth­while events.

The Avon­dale Busi­ness As- so­ci­a­tion, which Mr Macdon­ald chairs, re­ceived $825 for the sixth birth­day cel­e­bra­tions of Dale the Spi­der, a statue in the Avon­dale Town Cen­tre.

In Fe­bru­ary the as­so­ci­a­tion can­celled an an­nual Fun Day be­cause it couldn’t get the full $3500 cost from the board.

This month the Avon­dale Chris­tian Cen­tre re­ceived $1200 for an al­ter­na­tive chil­dren’s Hal­loween party, $700 more than its re­quest of $500.

And the Avon/Bay Lynn Schools Sports Group re­ceived $766 to hold a gym­nas­tics tour­na­ment, af­ter also seek­ing $500.

A fur­ther $176 went to Ni­uean group Atu Penu­penu for hall hire.

Hal­loween party or­gan­iser Mary Anne Sch­wenke says the un­ex­pected wind­fall means no chil­dren will miss out on a “loot bag”, like they did at the 2007 party.

She also plans to in­volve the whole com­mu­nity in the event by ad­ver­tis­ing it through lo­cal schools and a leaflet drop.

Avon/Bay Lynn Schools Sports Group spokesman Leon McGivern, prin­ci­pal of St Do­minics Pri­mary, was sur­prised when the board granted the full $776 needed for the event.

But Mr McGivern says the larger grant means the 14 schools in the group don’t lose out fi­nan­cially or have to charge the chil­dren for hall hireage.

“Over the last few years St Do­minics lost about $130 on this. It takes away the worry of the money.

“It’s the lo­cal com­mu­nity kids that are go­ing to ben­e­fit from it.”

Com­mu­nity board mem­ber Paul Davie wasn’t at the May meet­ing and hasn’t seen the min­utes be­cause he is over­seas.

But he says he and fel­low board mem­ber Kathryn Davie be­lieve some fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion should come from the ap­pli­cants.

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