Representatives of Cork Foundation, a unique philanthropic fund, are preparing to travel to the USA this week to help raise awareness of the Irish Foundation’s work in Cork.
The Foundation was established in 2013 to drive job creation and to develop Cork as the best region in Ireland to start, locate, and grow a business through funding Cork businesses and community initiatives. The not-for-profit organisation has already raised over €500,000.
Yvonne Barry, chairperson of Cork Foundation, said: ‘We depend on philanthropy and particularly on the support of the Irish diaspora to help us to realise our vision. Our visit to the States coincides with various Irish related events surrounding St Patrick’s Day in the hope that as thoughts turn to all things Irish, we will gain further support for our work in Cork.
“It’s about reaching out to the Irish in America especially those with Cork heritage and touching minds and hearts to highlight that they can make a huge difference to the economic and social structure of this great rebel county.”
A unique facet of the Foundation is that it also pledges to help community initiatives. A recent example of Cork Foundation funding has been a grant given to Cork Community Enterprise ‘Little Hands’ Childcare Centre in Farranferris, Cork; allowing them to enhance their services and employ an additional carer. The Foundation has also provided a grant to PMD Solutions, a fledgling Cork-based enterprise specializing in non-invasive respiratory monitoring devices.
“We cannot do any of this without the support of Irish people, both in Ireland and overseas,” said Yvonne. “Every contribution to the fund will make a difference.” The board of Cork Foundation is entirely voluntary and comprises leading figures from business and politics.
Áine Collins, TD, secretary of the board, and Conor Healy, CEO Cork Chamber of Commerce, will represent the Cork Foundation board in Washington DC, New York and Chicago.