Life to the Max, the Whanganui Learning Centre and the Bulls Community Centre have been the biggest recipients of grants from Whanganui Community Foundation in the last year.

Life to the Max Trust and the Whanganui Learning Centre are both recipients of the foundation's High Investment High Community Engagement Grants - giving them up to $100,000 a year for up to three years. The new Bulls Community Centre received $300,000. A symbolic "turning of the first sod" took place in December last year.

The foundation gives away about $1 million a year. This year there were 112 applications for the money and 68 of them were approved, its website says.

The foundation had its annual general meeting on August 22. At that meeting outgoing trustees, chairwoman Julie Herewini, Marie Haira and Alaina Teki-Clark, were thanked for their contribution.


The three incoming trustees are Soraya Peke-Mason, Mike Paki and Tim Easton. Former deputy chairman Trevor Goodwin is its acting chairman and the other trustees are Viv Chapman, Michael Dewhirst, Sheena Maru, Suze Redmayne, Jeff Whitlock and John Vickers.

The foundation covers Whanganui, Rangitīkei, Waimarino and part of South Taranaki. Its investment fund started with money from the sale of shares in Trustbank Wanganui. That money has been invested and had grown to $47.7 million.

Last year the fund earned $3.5 million, and the foundation gave $1,029,849 in grants.

Its priorities for grant making are improving the lives of elderly people, of at-risk children aged from birth to 5 years old and of at-risk youth aged 12-24. Its fourth "other" category is "activities and programmes that strengthen our community".

A video on the foundation's Facebook page shows some of its many grant recipients.