Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation

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Monthly Archives: October 2017

The Community Foundation partnered with other non-profits at the Chamber’s October Business & Community Showcase. Our Fundraising Chair Sarah Groeneweg (centre) is joined at the Trivia Tunes Wheel by STEGH Foundation’s Paul Jenkins (left) and United Way’s Bobbi-Jo Gardiner.

The Kohler Family Community Fund within Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation granted $300 to The Grace Cafe, a street mission in St. Thomas feeding anyone who’s hungry six days a week. (From left) Jeff Kohler, Ginny Trepanier from The Grace Cafe, Jennifer Kohler and Kohler family member from Brazil Camila Coehlo.

With Glowing Hearts is a publication celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Canada. It has a focus on Elgin-St. Thomas, in a full-colour, 64-page, 8 1/2 by 11 format published by Metroland Media in support of not-for-profits. Lots of photos, local history and memories. The $10 on-line price includes handling and mailing to any address in Canada within 2 business days of receipt of order. All proceeds from sales of the publication go to Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation. Thanks to St. Thomas Elgin Weekly News for this publication!

Thanks to everyone who made the 2017 event such a success! Get ready for 2018!

When the votes came in June 6, 2017 . . .

Aylmer Rotary Foundation (lead agency) . . .

. . . was voted the $10,000 main grant for: Elgin Children’s Foundation – Kits for Kids 4 Camp; Move-in bins for YWCA Youth; Move-in bins for Inn Out of the Cold guests. Successful applicants are shown here with ESCF Board Chair Elaine McGregor-Morris (left) and ESCF vice-chair and 150 People Who Care Chair Sarah Groeneweg (right).


Canadian Mental Health Association Elgin . . .

. . . was runner-up for its postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety program, taking home $4,450 for the project.
150 People Who Care Committee Member Andrew Gunn joins Elaine and Sarah in congratulating CMHA.


Six charities / projects made the shortlist!

In alphabetical order, here are the four other organizations / projects that made the shotlist.

  1. Long Point Conservation Authority – ALUS Elgin
    Integrate marginal land habitat on farms, improve biodiversity and mitigate erosion
  2. Mennonite Community Services of Southern Ontario
    Workshops and classes for community members to learn about their heritage, life skills needed in Canada and community, civic and social
    life information
  3. Thames Valley Education Foundation – STEAM Centre
    Communication and animation tools to outfit classes for a project-based learning approach
  4. YWCA of St. Thomas Elgin (lead agency in partnership)
    Junior Jumbo Mud Challenge


How does it work?

  1. The Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation collects the member pledges of $100 and provides charitable donation receipts.
  2. Local charities were invited to submit brief funding proposals to the Foundation. (see deadlines and criteria below)
  3. A short list of six charities was then chosen.
  4. At the June 6, 2017 special granting event, shortlisted charities had the opportunity to make a five-minute presentation to the  membership to pitch what they would do with $10,000 to foster positive change in the Elgin-St. Thomas community (5 minute presentations with 20 slides).
  5. At the end of the evening, the 150 People Who Care membership voted, and the winning charity will receive $10,000 and the charity that  placed second in votes received $4,450 (the balance of the funds collected) that night!

“I am very happy to be one of the founding members of the ‘150 People Who Care’ in our community. We have a lot of extremely talented people locally who are interested in supporting great causes, but may not have a lot of time to get involved with traditional service clubs. The ‘150 People Who Care’ approach solves this problem by offering a way to network with like-minded people, learn about charitable organizations in our community, and then make an immediate impact by supporting the best ideas.”

– Andrew Gunn, planning committee member

Here’s how charities applied:

  1. Application Deadline for our 2017 cycle was May 15, 2017
  2. Review the Grant Criteria here: Grant Criteria- 150 People Who Care initiative
  3. Application forms here: Application Form – 150 People Who Care initiative
  4. Watch for notice of future application/grant cycle deadlines


Sarah Groeneweg chairs the 150 People Who Care Committee.

Good news! Founding Chair, and current Board Chair of the Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation, Elaine McGregor-Morris is being honoured with a Canada 150 Award under the Railway City Big Top September 10, in a wonderful event organized by the offices of MP Karen Vecchio and MPP Jeff Yurek. Free tickets!

From the Active Living Scholarship Fund

Breanne Bonter, graduate of St. Joseph’s Catholic High School is pursuing Kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario

Selena Kennedy, a graduate of Parkside Collegiate Institute, is studying Kinesiology and Vocal Music at Redeemer University College


From the Costello Music and Storytelling Scholarship Fund

Nathan Bond, a graduate of St. Joseph’s Catholic High School, is studying Music (Voice) at Western University

Selena Kennedy, a graduate of Parkside Collegiate Institute, is studying Kinesiology and Vocal Music at Redeemer University College

Holly Wright, a graduate of Parkside Collegiate Institute, will be studying Recreational Therapy at the University of Waterloo or Brock University.


From the CFDC – Helen LeFrank Scholarship Fund

Abbey Taylor, a graduate of East Elgin Secondary School, is studying Agriculture at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown College.


From the Dennis Redman Memorial Scholarship Fund

Jordan Dekort, a graduate of St. Joseph’s Catholic High School, is studying to be a Paramedic at Niagara College.

Heather Pirri, a graduate of Central Elgin Collegiate Institute, is studying Police Foundations at Fanshawe College.

Devin Freeman, a graduate of Arthur Voaden Secondary School, is studying Emergency Services at Wilfred Laurier.


From the Jaden Ella Wood Memorial Fund

Aeden Marcus (graduate of Wortley Road Public School)


Congratulations Grads and wishing you success in your chosen careers!

Celebrating a $10,000 donation April 25, 2017, from the Sweetgrass Fund of the Elgin-St. Thomas Community Fund and CFC 150, in support of the CASO Station south platform in St. Thomas. (Left) Matt Janes from the CASO Board, Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation Vice-Chair Elaine McGregor-Morris, Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation Chair Shawn Jackson, Elgin Middlesex London MP Karen Vecchio and Bob McCaig representing the Sweetgrass Fund of the Elgin-St. Thomas Community.

This initiative is made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between the Sweetgrass Fund within Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.

Two pieces of public art donated by local family with deep roots in the community
The St. Thomas Elevated Park, due to open in late August, will feature two major pieces of public art thanks to a donation and commission from a family whose roots go back five generations in this city. The Elevated Park Project fundraising effort is a Managed Fund within Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation.

The two metal sculptures will be created by artist and blacksmith Scott McKay whose studio is in Lawrence Station. The works are being donated to the Elevated Park project by Scott’s father, Ian, whose ancestors became prominent in the area as merchants, lawyers and publishers beginning in the mid 1800s.


Holly Wright receives her Costello Music & Storytelling Scholarship Fund award at Parkside Collegiate Institute’s commencement. Congratulations, Holly! The Costello Fund was set up within the Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation to support St. Thomas students pursuing Music or Storytelling at the post-secondary level. Holly is enrolled in Therapeutic Recreation at Brock University.