When Ken Chase created a charity in memory of his niece, he never imagined it could become as successful as it is today.
The Keri Chase Foundation board, which began in 2002, is turning the charity over to the Thunder Bay Community Foundation and presented the organization with a $175,000 cheque on Monday.
“Our original intent was maybe if we could get $50,000 or $100,000 over a few years for animal welfare we’d be doing great,” Chase, who is also the board’s treasurer, said following a cheque presentation Monday afternoon.
“We’ve been at this for over 13 years and our volunteers are starting to get tired. We’ve definitely surpassed our original goals so we were looking for an exit strategy to assist animals going into the future and maintain Keri’s memory.”
The Keri Chase Foundation raised money for helping injured and stray animals. Prior to her death in an auto accident in 2001, she worked tirelessly in support of animals and the foundation was created due to her inspiration. She was 42 years old at the time of her death.
Using their matching program, the Thunder Bay Community Foundation was able to partially match the amount to bring the total to $245,000 to create a new fund.
According to foundation president Shannon Gothard Ramirez, the money will continue on the legacy of the Keri Chase Foundation.
“This is the first fund focused exclusively on animal welfare, and we know in the region there is a need for those dollars,” Gothard Ramirez said.
Animal welfare charities will be able to apply to the Thunder Bay Community Foundation for money from the fund.
“People in the community know about the Keri Chase Foundation, so it’s really special the family are entrusting this fund to the community foundation. It really makes a difference to us.”
This marked the final year for the Keri Chase Foundation’s annual calendar, which was a popular fundraiser. The website will continue to have their memorial section.
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