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The Lion Foundation Celebrates $500 Million Milestone

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
The Lion Foundation Celebrates $500 Million Milestone

Thousands of Kiwi communities have 500 million reasons to celebrate thanks to the support of The Lion Foundation.

The charitable trust has achieved a major milestone - combined funding over 24 years since inception has passed the $500 million mark.

The recipient organisation of the $500 millionth dollar, Shelly Beach Volunteer Fire Brigade, has recently received a $17,500 grant, allowing the purchase and installation of an emergency generator to power the fire station in the event of a civil defence emergency.

One of the country's most widely respected community trusts, The Lion Foundation Chief Executive Phil Holden says the $500 million milestone is incredibly satisfying.

"We are very proud of this achievement, and thrilled that we are celebrating with the Shelly Beach Volunteer Fire Brigade, who provide such an essential community service."

The Brigade is a member of the National Rural Fire Authority and the United Fire Brigades Association and has a past relationship with The Lion Foundation, having received a grant of $22,000 for fire fighting equipment in 2005.

Shelly Beach Volunteer Fire Brigade Chief Fire Officer and Chairman Adam Knezovic says the equipment and new generator mean that the team is ready to serve its community - whatever the weather.

"Storms and winds can often affect power. In an emergency or civil defence situation we need to ensure we can help our community - whether it is providing an emergency service, operations centre or warm meeting point. Thanks to the generosity of The Lion Foundation, we are now able to provide this service even if power is not available," says Mr Knezovic.

"We are grateful for The Lion Foundation's support and excited to celebrate this special milestone with them."

The achievement comes as the gaming industry enters a period of significant change and in a year when the funding pool has been severally reduced from the pressure of the economic downturn.

"We have challenges as an industry but The Lion Foundation prides itself on leading best practise," says Mr Holden. "We will continue to support meaningful initiatives that positively impact our industry and subsequently benefit the community of New Zealand,"

The charitable trust has delivered over $37 million to the New Zealand community this fiscal year, representing 3,298 grants across a variety of causes. Its strategic funding policy gives priority to the return of gaming machine funds from its 149 venues nationwide back to the communities from which they are generated, to help such causes.

These grants provide vital assistance to a huge range of charities, local community groups and clubs, both large and small, in areas as diverse as health, education, sport, community, art, heritage and culture.

Mr Holden says: "Community organisations are reliant on charitable trusts for locally oriented and often life saving purposes. The Lion Foundation will continue to identify and support those good causes and organisations, such as the Shelly Beach Volunteer Fire Brigade, that make a sustainable and meaningful difference in our communities.

"We will also continue to build on our proud history of maximising the funds that we return to the many good causes in our communities. We remain focused and committed to delivering on our philosophy of making a difference in communities nationwide."

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