The trustees of the Wakatipu High School Foundation have received a substantial bequest of $500,000 from the Peter Wilding Estate, to be applied to the foundation’s endowment fund.
The foundation has already received $250,000 of the funds, and the Peter Wilding Estate will then match dollar for dollar the next $250,000 raised by the foundation over the coming year.
Foundation chairman Mark Taylor said they were “immensely grateful” for the substantial donation. “This bequest recognises the ongoing vital role the foundation can play in the future wellbeing of our high school community and its strive for academic excellence,” he said. “We will be working hard to gain the recognition and support of our business and family communities in supporting the foundation’s goals and to reach the target of raising a further $250,000 to match the contribution available from the Peter Wilding Estate over the next 12 months.
“I was lucky enough to know and work with Peter, and this bequest is absolutely in line with his community mindedness and very generous nature. “These funds will be invested to provide additional income for the school for generations to come. Being the only high school in the district, the benefits of Peter’s legacy will be very widely felt over an extended time.”
The Wakatipu High School Foundation was established in the latter part of 2013 with the aim of making the school one of the best secondary establishments in the country within five years. It has already achieved one of its earliest objectives by providing funding towards the appointment of three key new members of staff for the school — a full-time sports co-ordinator, a part-time arts co-ordinator and an E-Learning co-ordinator.
In 2014 the foundation is also funding a $20,000 hardship fund, bringing the total funding for the year to date to $88,000. Mr Taylor said the trustees were “very pleased” with the support they had had from the community to date and would be working extremely hard behind the scenes to ensure they could uplift the remaining bequest available.
Last year the locally owned Queenstown office of global real estate services company Colliers International became the first major partner of the WHS Foundation when it pledged an initial $20,000 to the foundation to help support the growth of the district’s future business leaders