Donor Stories

Giving with Heart: Jim and Jacqui Southcott contribute to the Grand Bend Community Fund through life insurance.

Jim Southcott’s family has been part of Grand Bend for more than 100 years. Thanks to a recent gift to the Grand Bend Community Fund, it will continue to be part of the community for decades to come.

Our community was named Grand Bend because the Ausable River once turned here and flowed south to Port Franks before finding its way to Lake Huron. In 1892, a cut was made to divert the river directly into the Lake at Grand Bend. It was in that era that Jim’s great grandfather bought the tract of land that became Southcott Pines.

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Leaving a lasting mark: Stephanie Donaldson creates a Family Fund at the Grand Bend Community Fund

 “I’ve loved it all my life.”

That’s Stephanie Donaldson talking about her adopted community of Grand Bend. Recently she established a Family Fund with the Sunset Community Fund to honour that special connection.

Stephanie grew up in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Her father and uncle bought land in Oakwood in the late 1930s. “Everyone else was going to northern Michigan,” she says, “but Grand Bend was closer and they liked the idea that they were in a foreign country!” The cottage where Donaldson lives now was built after the post-War real estate boom in 1949.

Stephanie met her husband Ted at a party in Grosse Pointe and was immediately drawn to “his smile and his blue eyes.” They were married a year and a half later.

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Muma Bursary helps build futures

The M. J. Muma Bursary has become an annual award for selected graduating students of North Lambton Secondary School. To be considered for this award, students of NLSS must complete the Scholarship and Bursary Information form. The North Lambton Commencement Committee determines the qualified candidates, and selects the winner.

The first M. J. Muma Bursary was awarded to Robert Taylor of Forest in 2010.

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Hank and Nancy Winters chose Grand Bend for their retirement, and are doing everything they can to build the community

Hank and Nancy Winters

Both Hank and Nancy Winters travelled a winding road to get to Grand Bend. Hank was born in Montreal, but his early memories are of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. In the 1940s, it was still an active fishing village, and Hank remembers fondly the smells of salt cod and the sea. With a degree in Engineering from Queen’s University, he moved to Sault Ste. Marie and began a long career in the steel industry.

Nancy was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, and returned there to teach high school after also graduating from Queen’s.

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 Update: Sadly Hank Winters passed away in February 2018. The proceeds from his life insurance policy have become part of the Foundation’s permanent endowment, and will help support worthy projects for many years to come.

Hay Communications Makes a Forever Gift

It was in 1911 that a group of citizens, concerned that Bell Canada wasn’t rolling out service to rural areas fast enough, decided to create their own telephone system to serve the Grand Bend,  Zurich and Dashwood area. In 1995, the Hay Township Telephone Company, as it was called,  became a collaborative owned by its customers. Now, nearly 100 years since it was founded, Hay Communications has made a generous gift to the Grand Bend Community Foundation that will ensure the company is part of the community forever.

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Founding Chair Makes Significant Gift 

Hank Krech has already done a lot for the Grand Bend community.

Among many contributions, he played a major role in the 2001 Canada Games project, was a charter member of the Grand Bend Rotary Club, chaired the Rotary Nature Trail, helped launch the Huron United Way, and served as a Director of the Palliative Care Association, the Grand Bend and Area Health Centre and the Grand Bend and Area Health Services Foundation.

Perhaps most important, he was founding Chair of the Grand Bend Community Foundation and led it until last fall.

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Brian and Irene Hall have left a legacy to their community through life insurance 

Brian and Irene Hall moved to Grand Bend 27 years ago. Brian opened his business, Navigator Financial Services, in 1982, and Irene joined him in 1989. Active in the community for many years, the couple recently made a gift of life insurance to the Grand Bend Community Foundation.

Their gift is in keeping with Brian’s approach to financial planning, which is based on setting clear goals and creating a plan to achieve them. In fact, he usually asks clients if they want to create a charitable legacy as part of their financial plans. Many are interested in continuing to support favourite causes beyond their lifetime.

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Tony Relouw Gives Back

Tony Relouw moved to Grand Bend with his family in 1956. Apart from a ten-year stint in nearby Exeter, he has been part of the community ever since.

When Relouw was asked to be a founding member of the Foundation in 2000, he accepted readily. “I’m a true believer in the concept.” he says. At the time, he was seriously considering starting a private family foundation, but soon realized it could turn into an administrative nightmare. “I decided that I was better off working through the Community Foundation, so that somebody else would administer the funds, but the money would still go where I wanted it to go.”

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Relouws give $100,000 to Foundation 

A Grand Bend couple has generously donated $100,000 to the Grand Bend Community Fund.

Tony and Fran Relouw have wanted to make this donation for a very long time. In handing over the cheque to chairman, Hank Krech, Tony, who heads up the foundation’s marketing and communications committee, said he believes in what the foundation is doing and this seemed like the best way to demonstrate that.

The money will create a new endowment fund with the foundation’s Community Growth fund called the Tony and Fran Relouw Family Fund. Proceeds, each year, will be granted to worthwhile youth and recreational activities in the greater Grand Bend area.

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Local couple makes gift to Foundation 

Like many people in Grand Bend, Margaret and Bernard Sabourin spent most of their lives elsewhere. They moved to Huron Woods from Toronto shortly after Bernard, an executive with Kraft Foods, retired in 1991.

“I love the quiet,” says Margaret. “I love being close to the lake and feeling that we’re living in the forest. It’s very peaceful.” Their house accommodates lots of lively family get-togethers during the summer. The Sabourins have five children and nine grandchildren ranging in age from two to 21.

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