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

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. The land eventually passed to Jim and his three brothers, Bob, Jack and Don, and in the early 1970s, they began to develop it as a subdivision.

Meanwhile, Jim was developing his own machinery business in Toronto and with wife Jacqui, raising their children. It was not until about five years ago that he and Jacqui built a house in Southcott Pines and retired to Grand Bend.

What a difference the couple has made in just five years! They were founding members of the Partners in Learning organization and have remained active in its programs. Jim has been an active member of the Rotary Club since he arrived and served as President in 2009. He was co-chair of the very successful fundraising campaign for the Beach Enhancement Project. And he is perhaps best known for the splendid parades he has organized for Winter Carnival and Canada Day celebrations.

Jim is a director of the Grand Bend Community Foundation and was recently honored as one of the Community Leaders of the Decade whose energy and enthusiasm have added so much to the quality of life in our community. Jacqui is a member of the Port Franks Camera Club and has many other involvements.

So it was a pretty easy decision, Jim says, to donate an existing life insurance policy to the Grand Bend Community Foundation. “This is really an ideal way for us to give back to Grand Bend, which has become such a wonderful community for our retirement,” Jim says. “We are confident that the future leaders of the Foundation will find good uses for the proceeds of this policy after we’re gone.”

Jim has good reason to be optimistic. The Foundation has already granted more than $800,000 to numerous projects to enrich our community, including making major grants to the Beach Enhancement project, the Community Health Centre, the schools and sports facilities, and many other projects supporting youth, seniors and the environment. The Foundation’s funds are permanently invested, with a portion of the income used to support the community.

“It’s hard to believe that Jim and Jacqui have only lived here for five years,” says Pat Morden, Chair of the Foundation. “They have made so many contributions to our community, and with this gift, they will continue to do so long after their lifetimes. On behalf of the whole community, I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”