The success of the Exeter Foundation was highlighted in all its glory as 18 local charities and organisations were rewarded at Saturday night’s Season Launch Dinner held at Sandy Park.
A grand total of £47,000 – raised through various fundraising activities last season, including match-day bucket collections – was distributed to the charities and organisations following another hugely successful year for the charity by the Lord Mayor, Olwen Foggin.
Set up in 2011 by a number of Exeter-based businesssmen, the Foundation's mission is to provide the city of Exeter and its surrounding areas with a ‘Civic Trust’ that helps promote the community and pursue the vision of people who live and work there.
The Foundation also acts as a fundraising body with a commitment to the future prosperity of Greater Exeter and also as a vehicle for promoting collective civic pride.
Welcoming over 300 guests to the dinner, which was also attended by 24 members of the Exeter Chiefs first team squad, Foundation chairman, Tony Rowe OBE, paid tribute to all the work carried out by all those involved over the past 12 months.
He also highlighted the outstanding fundraising figures of the Foundation since its inception, which now totals over £602,000, and which has been spread across 71 different charities and organisations.
The Exeter Foundation has also been responsible in providing six vehicles (including a boat), three play parks, one outdoor learning centre, countless sets of equipment, two refurbished houses, a refurbished hydro-therapy pool and an IT hub.
Mr Rowe said: “The Exeter Foundation has again enjoyed another highly successful year, helping to provide much-needed support and funding to a number of charities and organisations across the city and within the local area.
“Each year we continue to see the Exeter Foundation grow in stature and it was wonderful to see all of them represented at Saturday’s dinner. Our aim has always been to make a significant difference to all those that we support and already we are looking forward to another big year ahead.”
As well as cheque presentations to the 18 charities and organisations, guests at Saturday’s dinner were treated to a special Q&A session with Exeter Chiefs quartet Julian Salvi, Tom Johnson, Thomas Waldrom and Will Hooley, as well as after-dinner speeches from esteemed BBC Radio commentator Ian Robertson and comedian Paul Boardman.
An excellent night of entertainment was later capped off by music from ‘Basher Tate’.
The designated charities set to benefit from the 2015/16 season are: Age UK Exeter, C Group, Devon In Sight, Dream A Way, ELF, Exeter Deaf Academy, Exeter Dementia Alliance, Exeter Lions, Exeter Youth Rugby, Families for Children, FORCE, Headway Devon, MNDA, Richards Wish, St Loyes, Vranch House, WESC Foundation and Wooden Spoon.