A MYSTERY Teesside business owner has donated £22,500 to be shared out between many of the area’s amazing community and charity projects.
The donation was made to Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation by a wealthy but big-hearted business leader who wished to remained anonymous.
And, having donated £16,000 to the unique charity last year, the unnamed donor has now given the Foundation almost £40,000 in the past 12 months.
The mystery man incentivised the Foundation to raise as much money as possible by saying that every 12 months for the next three years he would give 10% of whatever amount the charity raised.
When the Philanthropic Foundation succeeded in increasing its first year’s £160,000 fundraising effort to an impressive £225,000 in its second year, he held true to his promise and made a second bumper donation.
Now, with the charity aiming to hit a new record fundraising high in its third year of operation, he is set to have to dig still deeper.
Andy Preston, the Foundation’s delighted chairman, said he was moved by the anonymous donor’s generosity.
He commented: “Many people go through life doing the minimum, whether that’s the hours they spend at work, their efforts to get fit or the help they give in their community.
“This is really good example of someone doing something he doesn’t have to do and gets nothing out of, other than the knowledge and satisfaction that they are doing some good.
“There’s nothing in this for him on a personal level. It is a genuinely selfless act from someone who just wants to do some good for Teesside.”
Foundation trustee Nigel Williams, a partner at North-East law firm Bond Dickinson, added: “Every one of our patrons and trustees is generous in making donations of at least £3,000 a year.
“However, as our biggest donor, our unnamed benefactor is now a cornerstone of this movement to make Teesside a better place to live, work and do business. And it is a movement, not just a charity.
“There’s something quite magical happening with the Foundation. It isn’t the size of the cheques we’re writing, it’s the way people are coming together.
“People don’t have to give. People are proud to be involved. It’s special. I don’t think there’s anything like this going on in any other area of the UK.
“I’m sure there are generous people elsewhere but, to our knowledge, there is no movement like this that raises large amounts of money from so many generous businesses and individuals with one focus in mind – to giving a big helping hand to their own area.”
The charity said the money would go towards helping continue its work in support of such projects as funding more than 40 Teesside apprenticeships, setting up Middlesbrough Homeless Football Club and giving financial help to a wide range of local community causes.
The Foundation’s generous corporate patrons include Middlesbrough FC, Bulkhaul, AV Dawson, Active Financial Services, Ramsdens, Devereux, SABIC, Evolution, Visualsoft, First Choice Labels, Endeavour Partnership, Onyx Group, Unasys, Cleveland Cable Company, Macks Solicitors, px Group, Glanbia Nutritionals, Cool Blue and Erimus Insurance Brokers.
Along with Nigel Williams, individual patrons are Andy Preston, Ian Tracey, Mark Bolland, John McCullagh, Rob McLaughlin, Ali Miremadi, Steve Nichols, Barney Ord, Bill Scott, Simon Scotchbrook and the Sizer Family.