19 Oct 2020
The last few weeks have seen the sad loss of two people who were closely associated with the Community Foundation.
David Cook, a founding trustee of the Foundation and our first chairperson passed away on the 19th September. David set the precedent for the Community Foundation to be a funder who could take risks and encouraged staff and trustees to support those who were taking risks. His commitment to courageous peacebuilding continues to be a priority for us and his vision that an independent funder in Northern Ireland could have a transformative impact has been shown to be true over the last 40 years. We owe our very DNA to David and the values he imbued on the Foundation as they were when the organisation was created in 1979.
Joe McKnight was Vice-Chair of the Community Foundation from January 2015 to March 2020 and he chaired our finance and audit committee. Joe passed away on the 22nd September following a short illness. Joe worked closely with the Board and the staff to ensure that our finances, strategy and relationships were functioning well. He was always supportive and encouraging to the staff team; had an eye for detail but most importantly was an advocate for those most vulnerable. Whatever went wrong, the most extreme reaction from Joe would be to raise a single eyebrow and then get fully engaged in finding a solution.
We are grateful to both David and Joe for their vision, their passion, their experience and their time. We are better because of them and will work hard to ensure their legacies continue. Our thoughts are with their families and friends.
“Be the things you loved most about the people who are gone”