While everyone has been dealing with a world that seems to have been turned upside down, something quite special has happened in our community that is sure to gladden the hearts of many. Long term Buderim residents Norm and Ellen de Chastel who last year celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary have quietly made a donation of $100,000 to the Buderim Foundation, adding significantly to its funds held in trust and therefore its capacity to build a stronger community through its annual grant allocations.
In announcing this outstanding philanthropic gesture, Foundation Chair Prof. Russell Stitz said “For 13 years, the de Chastels have been in what we would class the major annual donor category, but this latest contribution to the Buderim Foundation catapults them into the exceptional category. In previous years, they have asked for their donations to remain anonymous, but this year they have been prepared to relax this requirement in the hope that it may inspire others to follow.
Norm and Ellen are rusted on Foundation fans and are a part of the large army of around 400 Foundation Ambassadors who contribute time, talent and of course donations to advancing the cause of philanthropy in the Buderim community. They have a high regard for its mission and the way it goes about things,” Prof. Stitz added.
When asked about what prompted this outstanding gesture, Norm said, “With my banking background, I’ve always been impressed by the preservation of capital in that it’s only the earnings each year that get used for the grants. This means that the initial value of every donation is maintained in perpetuity. And the Buderim Foundation is one of the few organisations we support where we know all our donation money goes to where it is intended and not drained away in administrative or marketing costs.”
Ellen who was a former teacher, and brought up in a large family where sharing was encouraged, says she is especially pleased to see the importance placed on young people through the Foundation’s youth initiatives and the ‘Back to School’ voucher program benefiting those with special needs.
Prof. Stitz said, “We don’t talk a lot about our donors, preferring to focus our promotion on the many deserving community organisations who benefit from the Foundation’s annual grants program. But when something like this happens, I think it’s important to remember, not just how important our donors both large and small are, but how much joy they get in very act of giving back to the community and seeing the benefits that flow.
“The Foundation’s income is made up from a combination of both one-off donations, annual donors, the Regular Giving program via the website, bequests and money raised from events. We have around 40 annual donors, and of course we would love to have more,” says Prof Stitz.
Photo: Ross Eason