Celebrating the First 25 Years of For Ever
What started with a small group of citizens with a dream to make this a better place to live has grown to a well-established, respected Community Foundation managing over 220 endowment funds with assets totalling over $23 Million.
The First 25 Years – Donors, Volunteers, Growing Funds and a Future of Community Support
Imagine Kingston’s beautiful Memorial Hall, with rows of people in best-dressed finery seated facing the stage. And now, in that very same room, imagine the incredibly loud roar of a Harley Davidson as Kingston native Dan Aykroyd rides his blue and white Harley Davidson, with then mayor Gary Bennet aboard, down the centre aisle. This was not a movie scene; it was the celebratory launch of the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area 25 years ago.
Today – June 1st, 2020 – marks the 25th Anniversary of our Community Foundation.
Since that roar of a beginning, CFKA has granted over $12.5 million to support a wide variety of charities and causes that make this a vibrant and caring community. Arts and culture projects, children’s mental health programs, community development, education and literacy programs, environment projects, health and social services for seniors, youth, immigrants and Indigenous groups: our grants support them all!
What started with a small group of citizens with a dream to make this a better place to live has grown to a well-established, respected Community Foundation managing over 220 endowment funds with assets totalling over $23 Million. The Martello Tower Society (the ‘foundation’ of the Foundation), introduced the Doors of Kingston poster campaign, and the poster is still displayed proudly in many Kingston homes (and in the Foundation office!). The Community Foundation of Kingston & Area has become an integral component of our social and cultural landscape.
In our 10th Anniversary booklet ‘Celebrating our First Ten Years’, noted historian and author Peter Aykroyd (yes, Dan’s father), wrote “Organizations…can ignore an anniversary, but at the risk of losing a unique opportunity to consolidate, strengthen and expand the corporate wellbeing. By celebrating anniversaries, whether we realize it or not, we are making a positive incremental contribution to our evolution”.
Ordinarily, there would be a celebration to mark this anniversary – we had planned to return to Memorial Hall with our donors, dedicated volunteers and community partners – but of course, that’s not possible this year. The pandemic we are all living through means that our celebration of this milestone will be subdued; perhaps fittingly, it will be quiet and contemplative rather than noisy and boisterous.
Although we are unable to celebrate our 25th Anniversary in person, we do want to take a moment today to commend and thank our many donors and volunteers. We also want to offer our sincere thanks to our charitable partners for the great work they do in our community. ‘Together is Better’ is one of the Foundation’s guiding principles and together we make our Community Foundation the special community resource that it is. Thank you.
We invite you to see some of the highlights of our first 25 years of for ever through a Facebook photo album we have put together. We hope that you too are inspired by the pictures of past celebrations and meaningful discussions we have hosted over the years. You may recall fondly moments at some of our special events; Across the Causeway, Under the Big Top, Jail House Rock, or one (or more!) of our bi-annual Grant Celebrations. You may also recall past ‘calls to action’ at a Speaker Series event, or The Poverty Challenge or one of the recent screenings of the compelling documentary Resilience.
As one means of celebrating and marking this momentous occasion, Mayor Bryan Paterson has signed an important proclamation, and our world champion Town Crier Chris Whyman has added his voice of praise and recognition! Hear the proclamation here.
People need people, and the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area exists to serve and support the people and agencies who make this a caring, healthy, and vibrant community. Twenty-five years of fund growth and community partnerships means that we will continue to serve our communities; we are, after all, celebrating the first 25 years of for ever.
P.S. A note from our Executive Director:
“This year I appreciate more than ever the value of our endowment fund model. Thanks to the generosity of donors investing in this community over the past 25 years (through both large and small gifts), our funds are on track to grant an impressive $1 million dollars in 2020.
Today, I invite you to make a symbolic donation of $25 or $250 – or whatever amount is comfortable to you – to mark this milestone day by investing in the future of your Community Foundation. Click now to donate to the fund of your choice, or perhaps you will consider a gift to our own Operating Endowment Fund, to help sustain our ongoing work.”