Donor Stories

Many people equate endowment funds with millions of dollars. In reality, it only takes a minimum of $10,000 before a fund emerges and can begin granting to causes and charities important to your family. Families can also take up to 10 years to reach that threshold.

If you have any questions, please contact our Executive Director Chris Willard at:

In Memory of a Family Member
Make Your Mark Foundation in Memory of Kayla Chadwick (a field of interest fund)
On December 12, 2019 Kayla Chadwick suffered a seizure in the middle of the night, one she was unable to over-come.  Sadly, Kayla passed away in her sleep at the age of ten. Although never formally diagnosed with Epilepsy, it was determined that she had passed away from SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy).
Kayla touched the lives of so many, family, friends and through her love of dance.  She was a beautiful and happy young girl, who’s infectious smile could light up any room and bring joy to those around her. This fund was created in memory of Kayla by her family - her mother Geri, father Scott and brother Tyler.  They hope by sharing Kayla’s story, can raise awareness, support education and fund research to Epilepsy and SUDEP in Guelph and across Canada.

Sally and John WismerGiving Now and Giving Later
Wismer Fund for the Arts (a field of interest fund)
In setting up the Wismer Fund for the Arts at the Guelph Community Foundation, and at the same time making provisions in their wills for a future bequest to that fund, John and Sally Wismer (photo left) wanted to give back to the community in which they have lived and worked for almost 50 years.  Read more ...

Seven Generations Forward Fund (field of interest fund):  The local First Nations, Metis, Mixed Ancestry and Inuit community in Guelph and Wellington County have created a fund to support a variety of Indigenous programs. Dollars from this fund go to support the need to walk with Indigenous to reclaim their culture in a good way. Gifts would be received with gratitude and humility to support a variety of needs such as language programs, food insecurity as well as library programs. Chi Miigwech.

Hugh and Lorna GuthriePreserving the Past - Nurturing the Present - Anticipating the Future
Hugh and Lorna Guthrie Fund (a donor advised fund)
Hugh and Lorna Guthrie (photo left) were modest and very private people. Having both grown up in Guelph they loved the City and believed deeply in everyone’s responsibility to contribute to the community.  Click to view a video showing the Guthrie's impact at Sunrise Therapeutic & Riding Centre.
Throughout their lives they did just that in various pursuits which included business, a legal practice, political involvement, sports, volunteerism and philanthropy. Read more ...

The Co-operatorsCo-operative Enterprises Build a Better World
The Co-operators Fund (an unrestricted named fund)
As one of Guelph’s largest employers and a significant local donor, The Co-operators shares a natural affinity with The Guelph Community Foundation for long-term community sustainability 
and viability. “We created The Co-operators unrestricted fund in 2003 in recognition that community needs change over time and with an understanding that The Guelph Community Foundation needs funding and flexibility to address those evolving community challenges,” ...  Read more ...

John LawrenceA Love of History, a Gift for All Time
Anne and John Lawrence Memorial Fund (a designated fund)
For a lifelong history buff and community-minded individual, leaving an enduring gift might seem like a natural thing to do.  Yet, the creation of a significant endowment that will span generations came as a surprise to those who knew John Lawrence best. Through his will, John provided a legacy gift to the Guelph Community Foundation ...  Read more ...

Peter SzkotnickiA Family’s Loss, a Young Man’s Legacy
Peter Szkotnicki Legacy Fund (a donor advised fund)
Peter Szkotnicki was a bright, engaging individual, who was loved by family and friends. He was a gifted person that people often wanted to be with due to his keenness for life, his sense of humour and love for adventure. He excelled as a student, at equestrian sports and derived great pleasure in being with horses and the family pets. In Peter’s teenage years he began to suffer from mental illness. Read more ...

Anne HohenadelA Perfect Christmas Gift for Mom
Anne Hohenadel Fund (a donor designated fund)
This is a photo of my mom with a “bottle of the best” in 1936. Before Coke renamed their original recipe, my mother was a “classic” all by herself. She passed away this May in her eighty-sixth year, and we are left with cherished memories and the wisdom of a practical and exceedingly resourceful woman, who was full of fun. Hardly a waking hour goes by that I don’t think of her. And my thoughts are more intense as the Christmas season approaches. Read more ...



Dr. Glenn D. Peirson Fund for the ArtsCreating a Lasting Legacy
Dr. Glenn D. Peirson Fund for the Arts (a donor advised fund)
Dr. Glenn Peirson led an inspirational life – through his medical practice, his music, his poetry, his community involvement and volunteerism, his athleticism and love of sports, and mostly, his love of family. Read more ...

Bill Greenaway & Anne BawdenThe Foundation's 1st Fund
William K. Greenaway & Anne C. Bawden Fund (an unrestricted named fund)
Anne Bawden and Bill Greenaway married in Windsor in 1967. They lived in Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Ontario, but always planned on returning to ‘home territory’. They are among the first contributors to The Guelph Community Foundation and continue to provide support over ten years later. Read more ...


  Gary & Wynne Christie, Fund Holders with The Guelph Community FoundationGiving Through Generations
Thelma Townsend Fund & Wynne Townsend Christie Fund (designated funds) 
Being active members of the community has been important for Gary and Wynne Christie. Involved in many charitable organizations through the community, the Christie's understand the need for funding. With the creation of two funds, the Thelma Townsend Fund and the Wynne Townsend Christie Fund, they will be able to help the community in a regular and lasting way. Read more... 

Guelph YMCA/YWCA Camp Helping Good People Do Great Things
Camp Discover Fund (a field of interest fund) 
Mary had many fond memories of summer camp, from meeting new friends, acquiring a new skill, or just having a ton of fun. These were special moments that were close to her heart. Mary established a new fund at The Guelph Community Foundation that will support camp opportunities for children and youth…forever. Read more ...

The Late Norman Earl WebbPassionate About Community- the Legacy of Norman Earl Webb
Norman Earl Webb Fund (two funds: donor advised and unrestricted) 
The Guelph Community Foundation received over $900,000 from the late Norman Earl Webb who passed away in January 2005 at the age of 98. Mr. Webb worked with his lawyer on his will to create a fund that matched his philanthropic wishes. His bequest supports our community where Mr. Webb grew up, raised his family, and ran his successful business, ABCO Box Company. Read more ...

The Koornstra FamilyFamily Philanthropy
Koornstra Family Foundation Fund (a donor advised fund)
Like all families, the Koornstra’s are busy with school, work and volunteering. On top of that, their deep commitment to community-building and philosophy that “life is more than just going through the daily motions”, inspired them to establish the Koornstra Family Foundation Fund. Read more ...

John (Jack) A. Hourigan
A Family’s Tribute to Their Father
John A. Hourigan Memorial Fund (a scholarship fund) 
“The Guelph Community Foundation provided direction and a comfort level that we could create a lasting memorial to our father, which would in turn benefit others in an area that he dedicated a great deal of his life”, stated Paul Hourigan. Read more ...


Terry DoyleA Tribute to a Dear Friend
Terry Doyle Scholarship Fund (a scholarship fund supporting dramatic arts)
Over 600 theatre patrons, sponsors, Rotarians, friends and family members gathered at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse on January 28, 2006 to pay tribute to the late Terry Doyle with a spirited celebration of music and laughter. Read more ...
Ken Hammill
"The Guelph Community Foundation is a 'Community Foundation'; a trusted place where donors go to give and where charitable groups go for support in their endeavours".

Ken Hammill, Founding Chair & Honourary Board Member of The Guelph Community Foundation and recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012). 

Donations to the Ken Hammill Operating Endowment Fund help support The Foundation's operations and its abililty to do great work.