Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation

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THANK YOU to all the Youth who received awards this week!

2014 Youth Citizenship Awards

The second annual Youth Volunteer and Citizenship Awards were held on Tuesday, December 02nd , 4pm at the Talbot Teen Centre.

These awards celebrated the 46 Youth volunteers who have contributed a whopping 644 total hours of support for two local organizations; The Talbot Teen Centre, The Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation, and their joint project The Youth in Philanthropy Council.

“We have an amazing group of young people working with us” says Matt Cossette, Manager/Talbot Teen Centre, “Many have long since completed their 40 Community Involvement Hours required for high school graduation.  That they continue to volunteer tells us that they genuinely care about their community and the difference they can make.  I’m sure we’ll continue to see great things from these young leaders in the years to come.”

“Working with these young people has been so wonderful” says Karen Laine/ED for ESCF, “They have such a strong and compassionate wish to help others and learn about their community, and we hope this leads to a life long interest in volunteerism and community support. We certainly want to celebrate their choices and extend our heartfelt thanks!”

Two of these Youth received the highest honour- Youth Citizenship Award for their extraordinary levels of volunteerism with the Talbot Teen Centre!

Shawn Fehr                          43 hours of volunteerism

Liam Woodhouse               56 hours of volunteerism

Please JOIN US in thanking these youth for their interest in supporting community organizations. Ceremonies included remarks and certificates from Mayor Heather Jackson, and as well as certificates and greetings from both Joe Preston’s office and Jeff Yurek’s office!



YIP logo2014 YIP Grant Awards

In addition to award presentations, the Youth in Philanthropy Council made their second annual Granting Announcements! 

TWO Grants were awarded this year, both to address homelessness.

The Youth in Philanthropy Council identified 9 focus areas for their study in 2014 and invited numerous speakers to address these issues, but mental health and homelessness were top of the list.

In fact we spent two entire months on homelessness issues.

Awards were presented by YIP Council Members Liam Woodhouse and Shawn Fehr.


2014 Youth in Philanthropy Grant Recipients are:

  • Inn out of the Cold
  • YWCA’s Fair Winds


 Congratulations to both organizations for the work they do to enrich this community, and thank you to the YIP Council for their fundraising and generous grants!

The YIP Council would also like to say a special THANK YOU to Bob McCaig and the Sweetgrass Fund for support of the YIP and awesome help with our fundraising/pizza sale that provided funds for these grants!

A new Endowment Fund has been established at the Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation.


Bud and Melba Marr

The Bud and Melba Marr Fund has been established to support regional and local charities with a focus on health care, community and youth, and builds a legacy that will continue granting each year in perpetuity.

Anyone who knows Bud and Melba will not be surprised.

Bud was raised on the family farm in Frome. This farm has been in

the family since 1837. Upon graduation from A.V.S.S. Bud continued to help his father on the farm but also worked full-time as a carpenter. After marriage to the former Melba Morrow, they purchased their own farm and Bud became a full-time farmer. It was here they raised their 3 children, Julie, Scott, and Jamie. Bud continues to manage the farm’s operation.

Bud has always been active in Frome Church, including from time to time choir and Sunday School superintendent. He proudly served on the Shedden Fair Board for a number of years and is a Past President. Bud’s community service eventually led to his election to Southwold Township Council, and he served two terms as Warden of Elgin County. In this position he served on all county committees as well as outside boards including the St. Thomas –Elgin General Hospital and the Elgin St. Thomas Health Unit.

Bud was a trusted financial planner in the community for nearly 20 years. He has been active in many service clubs including Free Masons, and as a Charter member and Past President of the Rotary Club of London South.

Melba too was raised on a farm in Southwold Township just north of Shedden. As her father worked 2 jobs as a bus driver and as a farmer, part of each year was spent in St. Thomas and part on the farm. She graduated from Balaclava St. School, St. Thomas Collegiate Institute and London Teacher’s College.

Her first teaching position was Grades 1, 2, 3 at Fingal Public School. Two years later she married Bud Marr and moved to the Frome area. Two more years at Fingal and she resigned to be home with the children.

During the next 10 years as the children grew, she supply-taught at local schools and supported community activities. In 1969, with the opening of the new Southwold Public School she returned to full-time teaching. While teaching her Grade 4 classes she enrolled as a part-time student at Western University and eventually received her B.A. degree.

Among her community activities she has been a continual worker in many areas of Frome Church. She chaired the research committee searching for names of Southwold War Veterans for the memorial book and was a volunteer with the subsequent Remembrance Day services at the Southwold Keystone Complex. She currently serves on a committee to establish a much- needed library for Southwold Township. Since retirement, Melba has been a volunteer at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital.

In August 1990 their farm took a direct hit from a devastating tornado with subsequent loss of buildings, equipment, and farm crops. Incredibly, by March 1991, a new house was built though clean-up continued for many years.

It is clear that throughout their lives Bud and Melba have quite naturally enriched their community with the care they take in their work, with their contributions to their church, and community projects.

In this same spirit of community their new endowment fund the Bud and Melba Marr Fund will continue to support local and regional initiatives that are important to them, and will enrich this community………….forever.

allforcomunity with tag.full


DEADLINE for Community Fund applications is September 30th (each year). Don’t miss out!

Any registered charity in Elgin County is eligible for a grant from this Fund. Go to www.escf.ca to find information about all our Grants and Scholarships…..including the Criteria and Application Forms for the Community Fund




Thanks to the Arts and Cookery Bank staff and volunteers for a wonderful evening yesterday!

Community Fund grant to Arts and Cookery Bank. 2014.2


To say thanks for their 2013 Grant from our COMMUNITY FUND, and celebrate the official opening of their new fenced patio, the Arts and Cookery Bank in West Lorne invited us to their open house yesterday.

This open house was hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and,….you know it…. the Food was FABULOUS! Chef Gerry Brandon and his crew really delivered a menu of tasty delights!

Was lovely to visit with West Lorne community friends! Always such a pleasure.

Check out the Arts and Cookery Bank’s upcoming program of events and cooking classes (YUM) at http://theartsandcookerybank.com/………



Find out more at http://www.escf.ca/grants/grant-seekers/




(photo of Grace McGartland- Arts and Cookery Bank, and Shawn Jackson, chair of ESCF)

Community Fund grant to Arts and Cookery Bank. 2014.3Community Fund grant to Arts and Cookery Bank. 2014.4




Community Fund grant to Arts and Cookery Bank. 2014.5




ExpeditionElgin (1)

Mark your Calendars and Grab your team of 4!

Expedition Elgin 2014

is Sunday September 14th!

This year we will be back to explore the beaches and treasures of


Registration opens July 30th at www.escf.ca!

We have some AWESOME new Challenges for you this year! Not as tough as our Extreme Elgin event…..smile,…..Expedition Elgin remains a family friendly 3km route with challenges along the way (can be physical, or other

skills and knowledge). As always it is a ‘pledge style’ event, so it does not cost you anything but your time to collect donations of $100 per person/team of 4 $400 minimum….and then win GREAT prizes as our thanks for your help! We’ve got a great year planned for you.

Hope to see you there!


Congratulations to all our 2014 Scholarship Award recipients!

imagesSF8C0H4MEach year we accept applications for our scholarship awards with a deadline of June 01st. This year we have a record 16 scholarships including a first scholarship from TWO funds- The St. Thomas Tourist Association Scholarship Fund and the Costello Music and Storytelling scholarship Fund!




2014 Awards by Fund

St. Thomas – Elgin Tourist Association Scholarship Fund

  • Sieglinde Altenbroxter- Tourism and Travel at Algonquin College


Costello Music and Storytelling Scholarship Fund

  • Katherine Easton- Dramatic Arts at University of Windsor
  • Austin Gagnier- Dramatic Arts at Brock University


Jaden Ella Woods Memorial Scholarship Fund

  • Kieryn Mounsey- Wortley Road Public School


Active Living Scholarship Fund

  • Brandan Weir- Human Kinetics at University of Windsor
  • Kristen Ellis- Kinesiology at University of Waterloo


Dennis Redman Memorial Scholarship Fund

    • Shania Coward- Forensic Science at Laurentian University
    • Cody Nevill-Pelletier- Police Foundations at Fanshawe College
    • Lindsey Hill- Police Foundations at Niagara College
  • Carley Jackson- Police Foundations at Fanshawe College


Sweetgrass Fund

  • Rebecca Finkbeiner- French Studies and Education at University of Western
  • Justin Clark- Medical Sciences at University of Western
  • Ashley Powers- Education at Lakehead University
  • Amanda Kohler- Practical Nursing at Fanshawe College
  • Matt Brisson- Education at University of Windsor
  • Shelly Harder- English and Philosophy at Brescia University College


Congratulations ALL!


The Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation would like to thank all those who have helped to make the second annual EXTREME Elgin such an incredible success!- our AMAZING volunteers, planning committee, participants, community partners and corporate partners!

Held on Saturday June 21st , 2014 at Springwater Conservation Area ….this event was for the fearless athlete!

Not your typical jaunt through the park,….this challenge is a 10km route included 10 military style obstacles that test your strength and endurance along the way. Participants run, climb, crawl, swim, to complete the course,….ending with an 80’ long mud pit affectionately called “Swamp Thing”


EXTREME Elgin 2014. Photo by Mark Girdauskas

“Springwater Conservation Area is a perfect setting for this challenge” says Amy Dale, ESCF Board Member, and member of the committee designing the route and obstacles. “From a mud pit crawl, to a slog through the pond to a run through the beautiful Carolinian Forest this course is unique in the ‘mudder’ circuit.

Everyone participates as an individual and there are no ‘winners ‘in the traditional sense,…..the spirit of this event is to challenge yourself and cooperate with others along the way. “There are a number of obstacles where you will need to work with other participants to complete a task” says Executive Director Karen Laine.

There were of course a few ‘stand out’ participants. The elite crew called “Black Shirts” was created this year for those who wished to complete the course more than once. In fact 6 fearless athlete attempted this feat on Saturday….and all 7 completed the course twice with fantastic finish times. Most incredible however was participant Jordan Vallance, who completed the entire course THREE TIMES,…in an unbelievable 3hours and 22minutes.

All finish times and award announcement, stories of those who embodied the ‘cooperative spirit’ as well as photos from the event will be posted on our website over the next days/week. Our top prize is always awarded to an outstanding story of cooperative spirit,….and this year’s award went to Kathy Annett,…..who crossed the rope bridge 7 times……once for herself and then once with each of her teammates,….allowing them to hold on to her as she was the only one tall enough to reach the top stabilizing rope!

Kathy Annett- "Most Cooperative



Fundraiser Alert!

Mark your calendar for Friday June 06th for our next Youth in Philanthropy Fundraiser!

A Wood Fired Pizza SALE

Using a traditional Neapolitan Style! YUM


Menu Options:

  • Peperoni Pizza – Sauce, Cheese, Peperoni
  • Vegetarian Pizza – Sauce, Feta Cheese, Green peppers, Spinach
  • Meat Lovers – Sauce, Cheese, Peperoni, Ham
  • Deluxe Pizza – Sauce, Cheese, Green Peppers, Onion, Olives
  • Hawaiian Pizza – Sauce, Cheese, Ham, Pineapple



We have such a rush of interest we ask you to call and order ahead to ensure your PICKUP TIME is available.

There MAY be some pizza’s available for pickup ….HOWEVER if you want to be SURE you can get a pizza …PLEASE PRE-ORDER!

Pizza orders will be taken by

phone on Monday June 2nd through Thursday June 5th


between the hours of 3:00pm-6:00pm


Call 519-631-8820 to order!





2014. Speaker Terry Jackson.3Many Thanks to all those who
attended our 10 Year Celebration at the CASO station on Thursday!

Thanks to our speaker Terry Jackson, Board Member of Community Foundations of Canada for his inspiring words that helped us to feel a part of a strong national network with great vision.

An EXTRA SPECIAL THANK YOU to all of the Founding Donors, Donors, Donor Advisors, Founding Board Members, Board Members, Volunteers, Corporate Partners, Community Partners and Professional Advisors who have helped to BUILD the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation!

Your work helps to build more vibrant, healthy and resilient communities across Elgin County.

And finally……Thanks to the wonderful caterers who provided our ‘tasting menu’- The Arts and Cookery Bank, Farmgate Markets, James Meadows Catering, Quai Du Vin and Railway City Brewery.

Head to our Facebook Page to see more photos!

2014.Karen Laine2014.Louise Ferriman. Elaine McGregor-Morris