Published in Truro Daily News on May 08, 2016
The Rotary Club of Truro heard from three recipients of the Harold Bethel Trust during the club’s meeting last Monday. The club has given out roughly $300,000 with the trust. From left, club president Kevin Quinlan, John MacDonald and Hank van Leeuwen of Easter Seals (umbrella organization to Camp Tidnish), Mindy LeBlanc with Community Health Boards of Colchester and East Hants (representing Early Years program), Trish MacKinnon of the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board (representing Early Years program), Shane Crawford and Wendy Sampson of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Rotary District Governor Jim Goit, and Adam Wyllie, a Harold Bethel Trust committee member.
TRURO - Almost 40 years after Harold Bethel’s death, the money he left to the Rotary Club of Truro has been dispersed.
The club received $400,000 from Bethel’s estate to be donated to charitable organizations.
“We decided as a club that we didn’t want the money to sit. The need is out there now,” said Kevin Quinlan, club president. “We kept around $100,000 to be used later, but we wanted to make a difference.”
Bethel was a founding member of the Truro Rotary Club and served as its fourth president (1929-1930). He also served as manager of Acadia Trust, a predecessor to Scotia Trust, during the 1950s and ’60s.
As part of his will, drawn up in 1967, four trusts were established alongside the club’s: St. Andrew’s United Church; the Governing Council of the Salvation Army Canada; Acadia University; and Pine Hill Divinity Hall. The will, however, stated the groups were to receive $5,000 per year until the estate’s funds were exhausted, something that was appealed.
The appeal was successful at the end of July last year, releasing approximately $400,000 to all five trusts.
“It was such an honour for the Rotary Club to be able to give out this money,” said Quinlan. “It was a bit of a process to work on that appeal.”
When the appeal was approved, a five-person committee was struck to first determine what “charitable works” meant now, compared to when the will was drafted.
“The committee then did a community scan to see what clients we’ve supported over the years, what clients we hadn’t supported in awhile, and what new clients we could support,” said Quinlan.
The recipients range from local organizations to some in the province, as well as an international program.
The club purchased $15,000 in grocery store gift cards for both the Colchester Food Bank and Colchester East Hants Hospice Society.
“That will make a huge difference,” said the club president.
International projects are part of the Rotary organization’s mandate, and $10,000 is going to a primary school project in Befang, Cameroon, Africa.
“One of our Rotarians, Lydia Sorflaten, and her husband have been involved with this project, to renovate buildings that are literally falling apart. Thanks to this donation, school can be renewed,” said Quinlan.
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Recipients of the Harold Bethel Trust through Rotary Club of Truro:
  • Befang Primary School Project: $10,000
  • Maggie’s Place: $7,000 for supplies and parental assistance program
  • Aids/HIV: $1,000 grant
  • Scotia Pool: $8,500 for a pool lift for disabled pool users
  • Colchester Food Bank: $15,000 in grocery store gift cards
  • Colchester East Hants Hospice Society: $15,000 toward the Food From the Heart program
  • Syrian refugees: $17,500
  • Bright Skies: $36,000 to support a summer camp for disabled children
  • IWK: $50,000 for the pediatric intensive care unit
  • Colchester East Hants Health Centre: $10,000 for the TLC program
  • Boys and Girls Club of Truro and Colchester: $50,000 toward club renovations
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Truro chapter: $10,000 toward the national insulin pump program
  •  St. Vincent de Paul: $2,000 grant for community assistance program
  • Sledge funding request: $7,878.65 for adult sledges
  • Nova Scotia Health Authority Early Years Project: $9,000 for supplies for two schools to promote health eating habits, school readiness
  • Third Place Transition House: $10,000 grant
  • Camp Tidnish: $25,000 for repairs
  • Juvenile Arthritis Camp Join Together at Brigadoon Village: $10,000 to send 10 children to camp
Truro Daily News May 8, 2016