A sporting chance

Giving circle crystallizes impact through HCF

The Phantom Moms know a lot about the value of organized sports for kids. The 10 mothers spent more than a decade shuttling their sons to hockey practices, games and tournaments, then sitting together in cold arenas, starting when the boys were age six. “It was our social life in those days,” says Julie Boateng, the mom the others call the “glue” of the group.

With their sons now in their twenties, the women remain friends and continue to have coffee together once a month. Having witnessed the power of hockey to give their boys physical skills, fitness, confidence, leadership, teamwork and other life advantages, they wanted to provide those opportunities to kids who couldn’t afford to participate. For the last several years, informally, they’ve been pooling a donation to give to arenas or skate clubs for kids who needed the help. “We really wanted to give back,” says Julie, “because we saw how valuable the sport experience is for children.”

Recently, the group took steps to formalize their giving and work through Hamilton Community Foundation to gradually build a fund that will go on forever. It will support access to all sports, not just hockey, and a portion will also meet Hamilton’s most urgent needs through HCF’s Community Fund. With this new approach, their donations are receipted for tax purposes, Julie has been freed from the responsibility of organizing everything, and the community foundation is helping them make the strongest impact with their giving. The Phantom Moms hope that over time their children may also get involved in the fund.

“With this fund, we can leave a legacy,” says Julie. “I hope others can learn from our experience how simple it can be for everyday people like us to make a lasting difference.”

 

Excerpt from 2019 Annual Report


Walking the talk

New fund helps put mission into action

Jane Allison started her consulting business, Dovetail Community, in 2017 with the goal of helping corporations and others find ways of aligning their business objectives with their desire to be good corporate citizens.

“Corporate social responsibility is where profit meets purpose,” she says about the sweet spot where the values of an enterprise, its employees and its owners dovetail perfectly with its engagement in, and contribution to, the community. Some examples include companies that focus their hiring on at-risk youth to create a skilled workforce, include volunteerism as part of job performance and many other unique strategies that advance their business goals while strengthening the community.

As she described and refined Dovetail’s mission, Jane realized that she wanted to live those ideas herself—“walk the talk” as she puts it—even as a small start-up firm. Being familiar with Hamilton Community Foundation through her career at The Hamilton Spectator, Jane talked to HCF about creating a fund and directing a portion of each of her corporate billings into it. While the fund grows, it resides in the Community Fund; but ultimately it will become a donor-advised fund focused on mental wellness, kindness, body confidence and other issues Jane is passionate about.

She says establishing the fund is the fulfillment of a dream. The process of “really digging deep” into what she wanted to support was challenging and enormously satisfying. “You really think about what you stand for,” she says. To see her fund grow with small, regular additions to the capital from her business and personal philanthropy —along with the “miracle of invested earnings” and the expertise of HCF—pleases her immensely.

“It’s very empowering to realize that you can have an impact without having millions of dollars,” she says. “You just have to start.”

 

Excerpt from 2019 Annual Report


Carrying on the good news

Publisher ensures a legacy of giving

Hamilton Community Foundation is honoured to continue lifelong newspaperman Roger Brabant’s philanthropic legacy, as the successor organization to The Brabant Foundation.

Born in 1928, Roger G. Brabant entered the newspaper business as a young man with the Timmins Daily News in 1943. After newspaper stops in London, where he met his first wife Blanche, and the Niagara Peninsula, he purchased the Stoney Creek News in 1960.

This ultimately led to an office and production facility on Queenston Road in Stoney Creek. Additional Hamilton area weekly mastheads soon followed: Ancaster News, Dundas Star News, Mountain News, Real Estate News and Flamborough News. Following Blanche’s death in 1984, Roger continued to operate the growing weekly chain until 1987 at which time he sold to Southam Newspapers.

“Roger was schooled by Thomson Newspapers, where every nickel spent had to be exactly accounted for,” says his friend and executor, Bill Farrar. “So he ran a very tight ship. The cost-sensitive atmosphere that permeated Brabant Newspapers was respected by the staff and contributed to the spirit of camaraderie among them. Over the years, Brabant Newspapers provided welcome employment for many Hamilton region residents.”

Roger Brabant believed that his newspapers should be the “Good News Papers.” He felt that there was quite enough newspaper reporting of crime and other human failings. He wanted his organization to report only uplifting local news.

After he sold his newspapers, he felt a very strong desire to “give something back” to the Hamilton community in recognition of the success he had enjoyed within its boundaries. He founded The Brabant Foundation in 1987 with a significant portion of the proceeds from the sale of his business. In 1989, Roger married Lois Hill and together they collaborated on granting The Brabant Foundation funds to local Hamilton charities such as hospitals, food banks, churches and social assistance organizations until his death in 2017. To ensure a continuing legacy, Roger designated Hamilton Community Foundation as the successor to his foundation.

Roger chose Hamilton Community Foundation as the vehicle to carry on The Brabant Foundation’s work because he was satisfied that the community foundation was in the best position to continue to deliver his ‘good news,’ now in the form of financial assistance, to the Hamilton area,” says Farrar.

 

Excerpt from 2019 Annual Report


A new generation of philanthropy

Hamilton is always home for Yvonne Farah. Having grown up here, she now promotes the Hamilton story to members of her international MBA program. She’s also feeling her way into her personal direction in philanthropy – a legacy from her parents Elham and Joseph Farah, who established an HCF fund in 2005 that focuses on peace education and supports the YMCA’s Peace Medal program. Yvonne has been involved with those efforts for several years and has begun exploring additional avenues for strategic philanthropy as a contributor to the Foundation’s Women 4 Change initiative.

Even with a firm grounding in her family’s tradition of giving, she says that as a “borderline millennial” the idea of philanthropy can be daunting, but it needn’t be. That became clear through her affiliation with Women 4 Change.

“I realized that we do things every day, like mentoring a younger person, without labeling those actions philanthropic,” she says. “I’m so impressed and touched by the women in the group and the work that they do.”

Getting to see HCF’s expertise in action has been exciting to Yvonne.  She is hoping to become more involved once she finishes her MBA in June and returns full-time to Hamilton and her family’s convenience store business. Even with her international focus, “home is home” she says. “There’s always a connection.” The Farah tradition of philanthropy is alive and well in the next generation.

 

Excerpt from 2018 Annual Report


Looking back on a lifetime of giving

Lifelong Hamiltonian Frank Miller has a passion for travel — he has circled the globe four times — and an equal passion for his hometown and its citizens, tirelessly giving to local endeavors that have meaning to him.

“A light went on” says Frank when he realized that his resources were enough for him and he could indulge his philanthropic nature – a nature that was sparked by his mother when he was just a teenager. “She encouraged me as a boy to volunteer and to give away some of my earnings from my first part-time job.”  Frank’s mother remained supportive of his giving until her death at 100.

Frank’s philanthropic interests are wide-ranging and he enjoys seeing his gifts in action.  He has an extensive collection of teddy bears, and has shared this love by founding the Miller Bear Program at The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton (CAS), through which child protection staff can give bears to children who come into care, or who are in situations where they need comfort.  Dominic Verticchio, executive director CAS describes the impact of this gesture

“The Miller Bears put a smile on the young faces of those who come to us as the most vulnerable and fragile members of our community.”

Through the Frank Charles Miller Fund at HCF, Frank supports nursing and medical students, St Matthew’s House, natural heritage projects like the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System, and many other community efforts. He is also a long-time supporter of his church.

A successful entrepreneur, Frank wryly describes himself as “an infamous tightwad” for most of his adult life, but his record of giving belies that description. As he looks back – and ahead – he puts his philanthropy in perspective.

“The more you give away, the more you get back,” he concludes.

 

Excerpt from 2018 Annual Report


The Karen and Peter Turkstra Family Foundation Fund

Turkstra Lumber has been operating in Hamilton and South Western Ontario for over 65 years. As active members of their community, Karen and Peter Turkstra sought to give back.

The Karen & Peter Turkstra Family Foundation Fund was established in 2012 to support the charitable giving of their family.  Their prime focus has been on providing donations in the areas of youth, nutrition and education.

Since inception, the Karen & Peter Turkstra Family Foundation Fund has provided over 50 grants to community organizations including: Interval House of Hamilton, Hamilton Food Share, Mission Services of Hamilton, Healthy Community – Healthy Youth Flamborough and Robert Land Community Association amongst many other charities working to make Hamilton a vibrant and inclusive place.

Working with HCF, the Turkstra family are able to use their fund to address unmet needs in the community, now and forever.


Giving with confidence: Losani Family Foundation Fund

Shelly and Fred Losani believe in the importance of involving their children in philanthropy

Shelly Losani didn’t expect that being  engaged in responding to community needs would feel so natural — and so important.

After years of family and corporate giving she says the feeling  she has when she visits an organization and meets the people they are helping is more than satisfaction: “It’s a feeling of ‘yes of course’ — this is how it should be.”

Shelly’s husband Fred Losani, CEO of Losani Homes, has spearheaded their corporate and family giving over many years and also feels a deep responsibility to the community, both locally and internationally. The couple’s three children are involved too, learning new skills from hands-on experience and input into decision-making.

The company has encouraged the philanthropy of its corporate partners, with tireless help from employees. The family and staff of Losani Homes have worked around the world on housing, clean water, health, and other issues. They support Me to We and local charities like Hamilton Food Share, Good Shepherd, St. Matthews House and many others.

Hamilton Community Foundation is now home to The Losani Family Foundation Fund, offering the family the knowledge and professionalism of the HCF team.

“Initially, we just found our way,” says Shelly. “But we’ve grown. Now, with HCF, we have someone locally to guide us, make sure we are on track, organized and making an impact. That gives us comfort of mind.” She appreciates the Foundation’s knowledge and experience, and the role it plays in sorting through funding requests. ”We know what we want to do,” she says, “and having the Foundation involved means we are giving with a lot more confidence.”

“We’ve been fortunate and we’ve achieved success in our business,” says Fred. “I’m equally proud of the work we are doing through the Losani Family Foundation Fund. Every one of us has a responsibility to make a difference.”

Excerpt from 2017 Annual Report


High-quality end-of-life care

Linda and Bruce Hutchinson and their family are carrying on the vision of Linda’s parents through an HCF fund

Linda Hutchinson is ensuring that high standards continue in hospice and palliative care — a legacy that began with her father, Dr. Bob Kemp, a passionate crusader for quality end-of-life care. He played a critical role in bringing palliative care and the Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice into existence in Stoney Creek/Hamilton.

This year, to further her parents’ goals, Linda and her husband Bruce have established the Dr. Bob and Mildred Kemp Palliative Care Education Fund to provide educational awards for health professionals (physicians, nurses and others) to improve their knowledge and skill in the practice of hospice and palliative care. As the need for end-of-life care grows and increases in complexity, specialized education is crucial.

“We have started this fund and as we build it up we are making one award each year,” says Linda. “We hope that others will contribute also so that the capacity of the fund to make educational awards will grow in the years ahead.” The couple has also involved their children as part of the advisory group to the fund, to encourage them to carry on the vision and generosity of their grandparents.

Linda and Bruce, whose careers have been in education, feel that locating their fund at Hamilton Community Foundation will help attract the broad community support they hope for. They encourage Hamiltonians who care about end-of-life care to contribute to either (or both) of the funds: the Dr. Bob and Mildred Kemp Palliative Care Education Fund for training and education, and the Kemp Hospice itself through the Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice Endowment Fund. Both funds are at HCF.

“I know it was Dad’s hope,” says Linda, “that people in the community would recognize how important high-quality end-of-life care is and that they would support it.”

 

Excerpt from 2017 Annual Report


Regiment ensures its legacy

The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry’s long and rich history in this community now has another tie: a permanent endowment fund at Hamilton Community Foundation.

Known as the “Rileys,” RHLI is a professional, combat-capable army reserve regiment. It is the oldest combat infantry regiment in the Hamilton-Burlington area.

“The regiment’s history is Hamilton’s history,” says Honorary Colonel Peter Young, noting that the RHLI began in Hamilton in 1862 — before Confederation. Through every conflict since then, and many humanitarian crises, Hamilton families have sent soldiers overseas and across Canada with the RHLI.

Hamilton’s “Rileys” pre-date Confederation. Their HCF endowment will support community impact forever

The RHLI Endowment Fund will, in perpetuity, “look after the regimental family,” says Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Don Cranston.  “And that family includes not only soldiers and their families, but also our two cadet corps, ceremonial guard, our band, our museum, our veterans association and our historical artifacts.”

As an agency fund, the RHLI endowment will support its wide-ranging programs such as bursaries for returning soldiers to pursue post-secondary education, loans and help with job transitions, a variety of family support services, maintaining the regiment’s archives, and other crucial services. Over time, the RHLI hopes to build the fund with legacy gifts and other contributions from families who share a history with the regiment.

The RHLI chose Hamilton Community Foundation to house its fund because of the “depth and breadth of the Foundation,” says Don. “Its great governance, its professionalism and track record, its brand recognition in Hamilton — all this is a huge assistance to the RHLI.”


Local action for peace

Ray Cunnington wants to protect the principles of peace through his fund at HCF

Ray Cunnington’s passion is peace. And he believes that individuals, not just nations, create the conditions for peace both locally and around the world. He’s a perfect example of putting that idea into practice.

Ray has a long history of peace initiatives. At age 96 he recently published a book on peace called Towards Less Adversarial Cultures. The previous year he was awarded the Hamilton-Burlington-Brantford YMCA Peace Medal. Three years ago, he established a fund at Hamilton Community Foundation to provide support for Culture of Peace Hamilton, a United Nations-backed group which works with others in the community to promote non-violence locally. The group holds monthly meetings, sponsors a public peace lunch and discussion twice a year, and has made significant donations to the city’s Peace Garden. It continues to uphold the UN doctrine that peace involves individual commitment.

In 2000 the UN proposed six practical suggestions for people who wanted to promote peace — clear, straight-forward acts like rejecting violence and preserving the planet. More than 75 million people around the world pledged to follow them in their daily lives.

Six principles of peace in everyday life:

  • Respect all life
  • Reject violence
  • Share with others
  • Listen to understand
  • Preserve the planet
  • Rediscover solidarity
    The United Nations’ Culture of Peace Manifesto 2000

But times change.  The world has gradually shifted away from personal responsibility back to governments and nations. Concerned that these very good suggestions might get lost or forgotten, Ray looked for a way they could be preserved and protected.

He found a home for Culture of Peace at HCF. He saw Terry Cooke on television, and “Terry made it seem so simple to set up a fund for a good purpose” Ray says. “The Foundation is a respected organization of thinking people who want to do something good for the world.” Ray is certainly one of them.

 

Excerpt from 2017 Annual Report