Bob and Diane Conconi Foundry matching challenge Bob and Diane Conconi pictured with youths from the North Shore

Conconi Challenge aims to finish Foundry funding

April 11th, 2017

Philanthropists Bob and Diane Conconi offers matching gift challenge; your donation will be doubled until May 31, 2017

In creating a province-wide network of youth centres (one in each of BC’s five health authorities) Foundry will dramatically improve access to care and support services for youth in BC aged 12 to 24.

The new centres will be located in Kelowna, Campbell River, Abbotsford, North Shore and Prince George and will be modeled in part on the Granville Youth Health Centre in Vancouver, which is a project of St. Paul’s Inner City Youth Program.

Why the 12-24 demographic? It is during those early years that 75% of mental illness and substance use begins. Providing a safe, trusted place for youth to access the care they need, before it is too late, is imperative.

Foundry needs $1 million more to reach $7.5 million goal

With $1 million still needed to turn on the lights at Foundry locations across BC, it was the way in which the project’s first $6.5 million was raised that made an impression on Vancouver philanthropist Bob Conconi. With this in mind, the Robert L. Conconi Foundation put forth a community fundraising challenge.

“One of the impressive things about Foundry is the number of different funding partners involved,” says Mr. Conconi. “Several government ministries, a provincial health and research foundation, a leading mental health foundation and many others. That’s a testament to the importance of the work.”

A chance to double your donation

The Robert L. Conconi Foundation will match every dollar donated to St. Paul’s Foundation, up to $500,000, to support Foundry. The challenge is on now and lasts until May 31, 2017.

“For us as an organization, challenging the community in this way has become a tool to support meaningful—and often new and innovative—projects,” says Mr. Conconi. “This is especially true in the area of health care, where we know costs are significant.”

Immersion in a cause

Bob Conconi is also known to immerse himself in the causes he supports, to learn as much as possible about the issues in play, and things were no different when he was considering support of the Foundry.

“We spent time with youth, listening to their experiences,” he says. “What we heard is how traumatic going to an adult clinic can be.”

Therein lies a key to Foundry’s approach, which engages a youth-friendly design that more closely resembles a hip loft rather than an intimidating adult health clinic.

Based on data collected at the Granville Youth Health Centre, which employs this approach, young people are responding to it, citing access to care as being much easier and reporting dramatic improvements in both school and employment activities.

The clock is ticking!

Take up the Conconi Challenge today. All donations to St. Paul’s Foundation in support of Foundry will be matched, up to $500,000, from now until May 31, 2017. Please join Foundry and communities around the province in supporting this innovative, collaborative, and ground-breaking initiative.


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