Speaking in advance of the inaugural Cork Foundation Founders’ Dinner, which was held last Friday (November 15th) at the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork, Fine Gael Cork North West Deputy, Áine Collins, who is responsible for the establishment of the Foundation, said the work of the organisation is instrumental in supporting small and medium sized local businesses and social enterprise initiatives.
“The Cork Foundation, which is a not-for-profit, voluntarily run funding organisation, was set up by leading business and public figures with a view to harnessing funds from home and from the diaspora who express an interest in helping Ireland along the road to recovery.
“This evening’s dinner will see 190 people coming together in a social setting, which will raise much needed funds to enable the organisation to meet its goals in bridging funding gaps for worthwhile initiatives, community enterprise groups and new or established local businesses. The support for the event, which will be addressed by the Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly TD, has been such that even people who cannot make it have been willing to make donations.
“The Foundation, which was launched in March, is delighted to be making contributions this evening to two initiatives; the Rubicon Centre in CIT, which is also being supported by Enterprise Ireland and a social enterprise initiative in north Cork. The direct result of providing funds to these organisations is the creation of much needed jobs, which is the overall objective of the Foundation.
“As the Secretary and the person whose brainchild the Foundation was, I am very proud of our achievements to date. Since the launch of the organisation in March, I have made a number of trips to the United States with a view to securing funding. Last week, we launched what is known as the first chapter in the US, in Chicago. And next week we will establish a presence in Boston to harness the funds we can, to further make our dreams become a reality.
“The Foundation depends on philanthropy, to a large extent, and the willingness of the Irish Dispora to help Ireland get back on its feet. We are working very closely with the American Ireland Fund and our experiences since the launch have been overwhelmingly positive. I am looking forward to this evening’s event, as the first of many, and to the Foundation continuing to make an impact on local SMEs and community initiative’s to help give Cork the edge.”