Craig Ennis, the “Dean of Awesome” talks at the official launch of the St. John’s chapter of the Awesome Foundation. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram
On Thursday around lunchtime in downtown St. John’s, Craig Ennis — the city’s self-proclaimed “Dean of Awesome” — called for awesome submissions for awesome grants that the Awesome Foundation wants to hand out.
Ennis came armed with a cue card list of synonyms for the word “awesome” because under the circumstances, it’s pretty easy to overuse that word.
“We’re open to all sorts of projects — art, community, health care, business — just make it awesome. Make it fun. Make it unique,” he said. “We’re not handing out a cheque today, but what we're doing is we’re launching Awesome St. John’s.”
Fifteen Awesome Foundation trustees are all kicking in money each month toward a $1,000 awesome grant for projects in the city.
It’s not a registered charity and it’s not soliciting donations. Nobody is getting a tax break. It’s just people who want to encourage awesomeness.
“I just really love the model. I love the idea of a quick and dirty way to just get money out to people who could do really cool things with it,” said Trevor Hickey, one of the people who’s been working to get it off the ground.
Jennifer Browne, another awesome trustee, said that she also likes the really direct way to makemoney work in the community.
“It tweaked my interest immediately. Who doesn’t want to be part of something that’s pretty awesome for their community? I just thought that I have a young family, I don’t have time to do a whole lot of things,” she said.
“This is a way of doing something small to bring great things to our community.”
Thursday’s event was largely about drumming up interest, and asking people to submit ideas.
Anybody who goes to awesomestjohns.com can find out more information and submit a proposal.
“You tell us about yourself, your project, and what you’re going to do with the money. So it’s a very simple application process,” Ennis said. “If you know what you want to do, you can probably be done in two to three minutes.”
The deadline for the first round of proposals is Aug. 15. The first awesome grant will be announced towards the end of the month.