Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation

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Yearly Archives: 2015

2015 Community Fund Grant to Shedden Library

Community Fund Grant to support the Shedden Library Fundraising Campaign

There are young people selling cupcakes door to door, and big applications being written to provincial and national funders and everything in between! The fundraising campaign to build a new home for the Shedden Library is well underway and it is truly a community effort.

“Our library is an important heart of our community” says Cathy Bishop, Southwold Library Committee Chair, “but our library is simply busting at the seams and need more space.”

Volunteers from the Rosy Rhubarb Library Committee have taken on the task of fundraising for the new Southwold Library location. The plan is to build a new 3500 sq. foot addition to the Keystone Complex to become the new home of the Shedden Library. Plans are to break ground some time in 2016, but there is much work to be done before that happens so the community has rolled up their sleeves and started the momentous task of fundraising.

There is excitement around what that larger space will mean to this library and the range and breadth of programing and initiatives that could be hosted there.  Says Mayor Grant Jones “The Keystone Complex is a local hub and I can imagine when families have one child in soccer practice another could be taking advantage of library programs and resources”.

It is that kind of vision and community spirit that inspired the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation to grant to this campaign. “We have two grants to support this campaign” said Past Board Chair Shawn Jackson of the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation, “One from the Bud and Melba Marr Fund and another $2,500 from our Community Fund- an unrestricted Fund that the Board has authority to allocate each year. Any charity in Elgin County is eligible to receive a grant from the Community Fund, and each year the deadline for applications is September 30th.

“The Community Fund allows us to respond to emerging need and innovation” says Karen Laine, Executive Director of the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation, “It is one of our 29 Funds currently held at the ESCF.” To date the ESCF has granted over $670,000 to local and regional charities.

To contribute to the Shedden Library campaign contact: Keith Orchard at 519-764-2600 or the Township of Southwold municipal office at 519-769-2010.


Photo #1.

Left to Right:

Mayor Grant Jones, Kim Grogan – Treasurer Township of Southwold, Keith Orchard – Rosy Rhubarb Library Fundraising Committee, Shawn Jackson- Past Chair Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation, Councillor Gayle Bogart, Cathy Bishop – Southwold Library Committee Chair

Shedden Library Plan

Elgin Railway Museum logo

Elgin County Railway Museum establishes a Managed Fund

with the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation

A new Managed Fund is being celebrated at the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation.

“Our Full-Steam Ahead – Phase 1 Capital Restoration fundraising campaign is building momentum,” says Dawn Miskelly, Elgin County Railway Museum’s Executive Director, “One of the most important projects in our restoration plan is replacement of the building’s 52,000 square foot, century-old roof.  Since this is a sizeable project, we were looking at responsible investment options for these funds as they accumulate during the campaign.  A Managed Fund with the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation seemed like the perfect fit for us.”

“The Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation’s primary service is Endowment Funds- those funds that are held for the community into perpetuity” says Karen Laine, Executive Director, “however we provide many other services and leadership initiatives to support local charities and community resilience. One of these services is our Managed Funds – available to any Elgin County charity. “

Managed Funds are primarily established in support of large capital campaigns and fundraising initiatives, where there may be many months or years of fundraising required in order to complete a project. The ESCF will manage and invest those funds to maximize returns, allowing local charities to focus their efforts on their fundraising and marketing of their campaign.  The Elgin County Railway Museum has invested $91,000 of funds they have raised during their “Full Steam Ahead” capital campaign into their Managed Fund with the ESCF.  The funds will be leveraged as matching funds in future grant applications to replace the deteriorated roof of their heritage building.  Donors interested in contributing to this Fund, can do so directly through the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation or their website.

The Elgin County Railway Museum (ECRM), a member of both the Ontario and Canadian Museum Associations, has been operating for 26 years out of the century-old Michigan Central Railroad Locomotive Shops in the heart of St. Thomas. It is a working museum with volunteers performing building and rail equipment maintenance and restoration, collections accessioning, and model railway construction. With a collection of over 3,000 railway artifacts, the Museum welcomes more than 7,000 guests each year, and presents cultural events such as Railway Adventure Day, Railway Nostalgia Weekend, and a Day Out With Thomas. The organization’s 115 members, over 50 active volunteers, and Executive Director are dedicated to helping the organization grow and keep the memory of the railway alive.

For more information on the Elgin County Railway Museum’s fundraising initiatives- contact Dawn Miskelly, Executive Director at 519-637-6284, or dawnm@ecrm5700.org

For more information on the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation and their services- contact Karen Laine, Executive Director at 519-637-8230, or klaine@escf.ca

Signing Railway Museum Managed Fund Agreement

Photo: Signing the agreement to establish the Elgin County Railway Museum Managed Fund of the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation.

From Left/Back Row: Guy Moore- Elgin County Railway Museum Treasurer, Dawn Miskelly- Elgin County Railway Museum Executive Director, Wayne Kentner- Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation Treasurer, Karen Laine- Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation Executive Director.

Front Row: Shawn Jackson- Past Chair, Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation.

Elevated Park Project picnic

(From recent Elevated Park Project newsletter:)
“Your Elevated Park project is alive and well

You’ve been reading about us a lot in local media recently.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation awarded us a grant to undertake a Management Master Plan. The winning proposal came from Peter J. Smith Company of Fort Erie, Ontario. As you read this, they are hard at work researching a full business and project plan for the conversion of the MCR bridge over Kettle Creek into what we expect to be Canada’s first Elevated Park.

Mark Your Calendars: the first full public consultation for the Master Plan will take place on Wednesday, Sept 30 at the CASO Station. This is your opportunity to give us your very best ideas of what the park should look like. More info soon.”

In support of their fundraising campaign, the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation is now accepting online donations to this community project.

Click our Donate Now button, or follow this direct link to donate.