Longtime Agriculturalist Adds to Family Fund
Part of the South Huron Vitality Fund
within Sunset Community Foundation
Bob Down remembers his father saying to him, “You should give back to the community because of what the community has given to you.”

Down took those words to heart. He established a fund within the South Huron Vitality Fund, SHVF, in 2019 and recently added an additional $10,000 to it.

Down grew up on the family farm in Usborne Township, on land that his great-great-grandfather received from the Canada Company in 1848. Down raised hogs and cattle, and grew livestock feed and cash crops, including peas and corn. “In the early days it was a tough go,” he says. “I had my nose to the grindstone from the start.” 

He and his late wife Pat raised four daughters, Patti, Barb, Cyndi and Deb, all born within six years. Down has warm memories of the years the girls grew three acres of cucumbers, learning important lessons about hard work and paying for their postsecondary education with the proceeds. He now has 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. 

After graduating from Ridgetown College, Down was recruited to serve in the cooperative movement locally and provincially. He also provided his wisdom to the Corn Producers Board and other farm organizations, and eventually served on the national board of Cooperators Insurance. 

“We’re delighted that Bob has chosen to add to his Family Fund,” says Tom Prout, Chair of the South Huron Vitality Fund. “His generosity reflects the true spirit of our Community Fund and will make a difference for many years to come.”

The South Huron Vitality Fund is held within the Sunset Community Foundation, one of nearly 200 community foundations across Canada. The donated funds are invested permanently, with a portion of the income granted to community organizations in South Huron each year.

Down plans to continue building his fund in the years ahead, saying he contributes on behalf of his wife and daughters. He knows the fund will support community organizations that in turn help the most vulnerable in our communities. “It’s like when you throw a pebble into a pond and the ripples expand out from it.” Bob hopes these ripples will encourages other families and businesses to start similar funds under the SHVF to support our community.