Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation

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Yearly Archives: 2013

ESCF logo (green-black) (2)

The Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation is celebrating our first 10 years with an announcement we have reached

over $1 Million in community assets!

Since it was officially incorporated December 11th, 2003, the ESCF has built community assets of over $1,250,000.00. These assets provide resilience for the community by granting investment income to local charities. While holding this capital intact, the ESCF has also granted over $450,000.00 to charities and student scholarships!

“We are delighted to announce this milestone and to welcome our newest Donor Advised Fund to the ESCF family” said Chairperson Shawn Jackson. “Though this donor is not wishing any publicity around their gift, we are honoured to manage this significant family fund that will support environmental and wildlife protection agencies and local charities.”

There are a dozen initial recipients of support from this fund” said Executive Director Karen Laine. “Agencies like the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Thames Talbot Land Trust, Animal Aide and Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society are among that prestigious list.”

The Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation now holds 25 separate Funds with a wide range of granting priorities. The Community Fund for example is a pool of unrestricted funds that grants exclusively to Elgin County charities. Any charity is eligible to apply and deadline is September 30th each year.

“The ESCF has a number of activities planned throughout 2014 to celebrate our 10th Birthday” says Kelly Ruddock, Vice Chair of the Board. “In addition to birthday celebrations, we also embark on a 5 year plan of exciting initiatives. Building from our recent strategic planning process and the success of our first 10 years, these initiatives will increase our leadership role in the community. The Governor General David Johnston recently challenged Community Foundations across Canada to actively build ‘Smart and Caring Communities’, and our local initiative over the next 5 years will reflect our commitment to this.”

You can read more about the ESCF upcoming initiatives and Birthday Celebrations HERE



YIP logo

The Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation is excited to announce the establishment of our local Youth in Philanthropy Council!


is a national project of the Community Foundations of Canada,…and locally we are partnering with the Talbot Teen Centre!

More than 55 community foundations in Canada have Youth in Philanthropy programs, engaging thousands of young people. Together they have already provided more than $2 million to non-profit organizations in communities across Canada.

How it Works

With the support of adult advisors, YCs typically raise money, build endowment funds, make grants, and undertake leadership activities in their communities.

Since each Community Foundation is autonomous and designed to respond to local need and realities,….it is appropriate that our YIP program in Elgin County have its own unique local twist!

In Elgin County we have chosen to Partner with the Talbot Teen Centre,….a natural fit we feel and we share the same vision for this project:

  • Inspire our youth leaders and support the development of their leadership skills
  • Build a community of youth who are educated about the workof local charities and the need in our community
  • Support the Youth Council’s planning of activities, speakers series and fundraising events that will engage a larger population of youth and community
  • Empower these youth/Youth Council, -educated in local need, and engaged in fundraising initiatives- to determine how/where to grant their funds.




Thanks to everyone who has submitted a video to date.

Community Foundations of Canada announced this afternoon they are extending the deadline for auditions to September 15th……so you still have time to be the face of this national media campaign!

Check out some of the first submissions Here (once on this linked page,…scroll to the bottom of the page to see all submissions to date)


THE FOUNDATION of my community

starts with you and me .–

We who have the choice

to be a voice

that rises .–


to move the crowd.



The people make the neighborhood

The will to work, and do the good

we spread the word so others could

help make the change

and rearrange

a true exchange

of power .–

to do the things we know we should.


The smart among us know that care

is fundamental, so we share

our vision

of a patchwork quilt


of dreams fulfilled

that all get built .…



The Elgin St.-Thomas Community Foundation is announcing an open casting call for talent for two media campaigns, one local and one national for Community Foundations of Canada.

Community Foundations of Canada represents 191 foundations across Canada, and are looking for one person to be the face of their television and radio advertisements. This is the first time in the 90+ history of community foundations in Canada that there has been a national media campaign.

Read MORE http://www.escf.ca/events-2/you-could-be-our-community-idol/



Position: Fund Development Specialist

Deadline for Applications: 5pm Tuesday July 30th, 2013

Read the full Job Description




Elgin County’s own ‘amazing race’ is back!

Join us in West Lorne this year for an adventure you will not soon forget.

The first 50 Teams to register will compete for some awesome prizes,…stay tuned for details.

Expedition Elgin is a fundraiser for the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation, who supports local charities with their annual grantmaking.

Again this year registration will be a pledge style campaign…..like any other charity run or event……collect a minimum $100 per participant in pledges from family and friends and every pledge of $10 or more receives a charitable donation receipt. The TOP INDIVIDUAL FUNDRAISERS will of course win the best prizes!

Read more and Register on our events page HERE


Congratulations to all the scholarship, award and grant recipients announced in this last month!

Dennis Redman Memorial Scholarship Fund

  • Matt Campbell- Police Foundations
  • Christina Graham- Police Foundations
  • Kody Lumley – Criminology….



Jaden Ella Woods Memorial Fund

  • Josh Moore- recognition of his leadership and values




Sweetgrass Fund

    • Michelle Harder – Honours English
    • Justin Clark- Biological and Medical Sciences
  • Matt Brisson – Criminology
  • Adam Kohler –HVAC Technology


Jim O’Grady Legacy Fund

  • 3 youth participants in Rookie Ball–Family and Children Services
  • 2 youth participants in soccer–Big Brothers/Big Sisters


It is no surprise that Gerry and Mickey Costello wish to support future generations of the consummate performer with proceeds from their new Fund.

At many a community event, at retirement and nursing homes throughout southwest Ontario, and anywhere there is a love of music and
storytelling you may have been privileged to witness a performance by these two. Gerry on piano sings all the tunes well loved by the crowd, and between songs Mickey adds storytelling, poetry and spoken work performances. Together they understand how to deliver an entertaining presentation.

Their love of the art of entertaining and mentorship of young ‘up and comer’s’ has lead them to establish this family fund to continue support for new artists in music and storytelling with annual scholarships.

EXTREME Elgin 2013 hosted around 150 elite athletes at Springwater Conservation Area on Saturday June 15th.

Throughout a 10km course of Carolinian forest trails were 11 obstacles for participants to challenge themselves. Though everyone registered as an individual, team work was required to complete some of the obstacles. The first obstacle began with a run in waist deep water, then swim across the pond, then launching out of the water to get your flag off a suspended line, then swim to the opposite shore and pull yourself out at the dock. That was followed by the Berlin Wall, a 2.5km log carry, CrossFit course, Rope Bridge, Tunnel and Tanglefoot, Hay Bale ‘up and overs’, Irish Tables, Scramble Wall, Dock Pull and a Swamp Water Mud Pit.

At the wrap up event Awards were given for ‘Spirit of Cooperation’ and ‘Fearless in the Pond’, rather than the ‘fastest or the strongest’.

There is however no debating that these athletes are in top physical condition and we are in AWE of their strength and speed as well!

Of those who registered their Finish Times with us, follow this link to see the TOP 10 “Fastest and Strongest” participants of EXTREME Elgin 2013

Congratulations to ALL of you!


At a lovely awards ceremony on Thursday March 21st, 2013, three Founding Members of our Board received Ontario Volunteer Service Awards for 10 years of service to the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation.

Junee Monteith, Elaine McGregor-Morris and Anne Kenny were on the Board of the United way years ago,…when they recognized the need for an Elgin County Community Foundation.

They contacted Community Foundations of Canada, and with our Founding Board- originally heavily represented with Board Members from our parent organization the United Way,- began the journey that has led us to the organization we are today.

These three woman are a large part of the success of this Foundation. It is their dedication and years of service that has shaped our mission, helped raise our sizable endowment, and provided the leadership and vision that guides us.

Our Bylaws state that Board terms are no more than 3 x 3 year terms,….so we are going to miss these leaders, the last of our Founding Directors when they step off the Board in April. This is not farwell however,…..each of them have been heavily conscripted into committee work in support of our mission,….and will continue to guide us.

Congratulations on your well deserved Awards, and thank you for your years of service and leadership.