Introducing the Flora Gold Fund
That she is a deserving golden girl, with stamina and strength to boot, we all know. That she is a fierce competitor who is also fiercely attached to her Bermuda roots, this we have come to know too.
Less known, less feted but still no small feat, Flora Duffy is intent on ensuring that other young athletes will be enabled to follow in her steps.
Olympian Flora Duffy established The Flora Fund – Scholarship and Bursary with an eye to the future of developing competitive athletes. Knowing what it costs to attain elite athlete status, the fund supports the purchase of equipment, travel, training fees, event registration fees, and coaching.
Since 2018, the Flora Fund has disbursed almost $20,000 to seven athletes, adding an emergent track star to the roster this month. The recipient athletes’ sporting aspirations span many disciplines: triathletes to tennis players, footballers, runners and gymnasts.
Up until last month, the fund was financed initially by Flora’s winnings. From there and, more recently, contributions from businesses supporting the Fund’s mission and congratulating Flora on her success have increased the pot, increasing its ability to support young athletes. To this point, it has operated as what is known as a “passthrough” fund – money in, money out.
However, Malcolm L. Gosling, VP Goslings Export (Bermuda) Ltd in collaboration with Flora and her husband and fund adviser Dan Hugo, has got behind a bigger, even more enduring vision: the growth of an endowment fund to support the development of young and aspiring elite athletes, long into the future.
Malcolm was a year behind Flora at Warwick Academy. He is an admirer of her and, in his own way, a champion of Bermuda. He realised that something exceptional needed to be done to mark this special moment in Bermuda’s history and so he joined with them to launch Gosling’s “Flora Gold” Rum. The timing and circumstances were perfectly aligned: who else would have had 70 barrels of Gold Seal Rum, ageing in once used Goslings Family Reserve Old Rum barrels, cool bottles, a relationship with a local design firm and a label maker willing to play ball to launch a special product within a month?
Malcolm and the team at Gosling’s did and the first limited edition of Flora Gold Rum has raised more than $18,000 towards the newly established Flora Gold Endowment Fund. The fund’s ambitious goal, one worthy of a gold medal itself, is to reach $1 million in one year; the principal of the fund will remain untouched while its annual earnings are spent every year, for ever and ever, on Bermuda’s aspiring athletes.
Gosling’s has committed to donating proceeds of this new product to the Flora Gold Fund and hopes that other donors will continue to support both Flora and her philanthropic ambitions in the most meaningful ways they can.
Proceeds from the sale of every bottle of Flora Gold Rum will go to the Flora Gold Fund to support generations of future Olympians.
Contributing to the Flora Gold Fund will be like earning a gold medal: priceless.
• Submitted by the Bermuda Foundation to acknowledge the start of the giving season: National Philanthropy Day (November 15), Community Foundations Week (November 15-19) and Giving Tuesday (November 30)