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A new Upper Clutha charitable organisation, the Graham and Olive West Trust, is calling for grant applications and hopes to begin the first distribution from April 30.
Trust chairwoman Janice Hughes said yesterday the trust had just under $1 million to distribute over the next decade.
The Wests' trust was established on September 8, 1987. Mr West died in 1995 and Mrs West died in 2010.
The funds only became available for distribution after Mrs West's estate was wound up last year, Ms Hughes said.
"It is an amazing legacy that the Wests have left for the community, and the community is going to benefit in many ways.
It is fantastic," she said.
The trust fund became available following the sale of the Wests' central Wanaka lakefront home at 93 Ardmore St to Ardmore Holdings last year. The house was demolished in December.
The trustees are Ms Hughes, a lawyer, West family representative Russell Umbers, Queenstown Lakes district councillor Lyal Cocks, Wanaka Chamber of Commerce representative and accountant Alistair King and Presbyterian Support Services Otago chief executive Gillian Bremner.
Ms Hughes said annual applications would be open from February 1 until March 31 every year, with distribution decisions announced by April 30 each year.
Ms Hughes said the trust was established with the very wide primary purpose of benefiting the Upper Clutha community, so the trustees had determined some objectives and parameters to work within.
The main criteria was that applicants be able to show how the funding would provide a clear benefit to the Upper Clutha population, she said.
The trust specified some examples of volunteer organisations the Wests wanted to support, such as fire brigades, St John, scouts, cubs, guides and brownies, and senior citizens.