Illalong News

  • 10th May, 2019

From the Principal's Desk

Last week I released a brochure seeking donations of $1000 from members of our community to help build a scholarship and bursary fund, to assist families in need and to help them afford to keep their children enrolled in our school.

Our community has shown wonderful generosity and raised money to assist Winton farmers affected by the floods and supported a young girl not even in our community to enable her to have a lifesaving operation, but this time we are seeking help much closer to home.

A thousand dollars is indeed a lot of money, but as it is a donation and going to a tax-deductible recipient fund, donors are able to claim this on their tax, thereby significantly reducing the actual cost of the donation. A table indicating the likely tax deduction was included on the brochure so donors could see the real cost of their donation.

Why Donate?

A very good question. Our College has been built on the generosity of families for almost 30 years – long before many of us had even heard the College’s name. They donated the equipment to clear the land, to do the earth works for many of our buildings, and provide the turf that now forms our ovals, they donated money to build playgrounds, gardens, and many of our buildings.

We here today, only have the College we do because people who came before us donated their hard-earned money.

If we can accept the generosity of others, we need to ask ourselves, how do we pay this forward? How can we assist those people who are yet to send their children here? This is the mentality, the heart and mindset of a philanthropic community.

On a personal note, my daughter was only able to attend this school for four short years, and with many of those months spent in hospital, she did not have the opportunity at our College that I longed for. It was however, the support of this College that helped our family through those challenges. I know the loss that comes from being forced to remove your child from the caring environment of our College and the opportunity that she will never have, and I would not want that for any parent.

This was further reinforced when only two months ago, her heart stopped during an operation and it took the surgeon over four minutes to bring her back to life using CPR. Such an event is unimaginable for a parent, but the care and support we have received from many has been strengthening and supportive in coming to terms with all of this.

I was only too happy to donate money for a chair, because while my daughter was unable to complete her schooling here as a result of her many health issues, the education she did receive has helped her to be the young woman she is today. It has given her the strength to face all that she has been through and has brought us to caring individuals who have helped find the solutions she needed.

While I am fortunate in that I can afford to pay the College fees, there are many families who run into financial difficulties and simply cannot. This donation is my way of helping another family to receive the care, the education, the support and the community that my family has experienced. My way to say thank you and to pay the generosity forward.

This money is not about raising funds for the school. It is about raising money to enable other families in need of support.

If we have ever been given support from another, received a scholarship/bursary from the College, or have been assisted in some way by being a part of our College community, then this is your chance to pay it forward and give another family the benefit of the generosity we have all received from others, whether it be from our founders, the many families who have been here before us or the support of current families.

Some may even argue that school fees should pay for this. Not so. School fees only pay the operational costs of running the school. They are not sufficient to provide the standard of buildings that we have, nor do they allow us to support families in genuine need. This is why we need a functional and generous Foundation. By way of example, Government funding for our new building totalled ONLY 0.18% of the total cost. We have provided this wonderful new facility almost exclusively on our own.

I ask you to please consider donating to this scholarship and bursary fund in the knowledge that you will make a very real contribution to another family. This is about realising what being a member of a community is all about - how can I make it stronger?

Please go to our web page, click on the link for The Winton Centre and make your donation!

Brian Grimes

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