Aberdeen foundation winding down

Vincent Ball

By Vincent Ball, Brantford Expositor

Aberdeen Health and Community Services Foundation will close its doors by the end of the year.

But the local charity, which supports community health, social services and health education programs in Brantford, Brant, Norfolk and Haldimand, is going out with a bang, says its board president.

"We're winding down our operations and we will have money that we want to go to local charities and non-profits," Lynn Hewitt said Thursday. "We've always supported local charities in the past but now we'll be in a position to do more.

"Instead of maybe providing a year's worth of funding for a program, we'll be in position to help with something most lasting or different."

As it winds down, Aberdeen is looking to leave a lasting legacy with its final round of grants, Hewitt said.

Local charities and non-profit groups can apply for a community grant by contacting Aberdeen at 519-756-5300 or . The application deadline is Nov. 30.

Money for the community grants, which is a one-time offer, will come from the foundation's financial portfolio, which is in good shape due to wise investments made by foundation officials over the years, Hewitt said.

She couldn't say how much money will be available.

Originally known as the VON Foundation, the organization evolved to focus on local-health care initiatives by providing scholarships for students in health care-related fields and community grants for non-profits. Organizations supported by Aberdeen include Brantwood Community Services, Kids Can Fly, Norfolk Cardiac Club and True Experience.

Aberdeen held an annual fundraising chocolate brunch, which generally attracted about 150 people who got to sample a range of treats created by local eateries.

"It was a popular event that's for sure," Hewitt said.

"It was through the generous support of local donors, the supporters and volunteers of our annual chocolate brunch, that we, as a foundation, have been able to make a significant impact on the health and well-being of our communities over the years."

The foundation's board cited a "changing philanthropic environment" as the reason for closing by the end of the year.

"It is certainly a competitive environment," Hewitt said. "There are a lot of good causes out there and only so much money that people can afford to give.

"As a foundation, we're different because we support various of health and social services in a community, not just one particular cause."

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