Honouring the passion of a lifetime

Marguerite Cino wanted to make a difference in the lives of children.

As a teacher, librarian, principal and supervisor of staff development, she did that through her career with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. Now, her wish to help young people will live on through the Marguerite M. Cino Fund at HCF.

“Marguerite never had children of her own, but had a special passion for young children and teens,” says her husband Sam Cino. “She knew that not all children have the same opportunities and she wanted to change that.”

Sam is well known for both his extensive volunteer leadership and as proprietor of Hamilton’s Lo Presti’s and Maxwell’s restaurants. He credits their lifelong friend Vincenza Travale, a past-chair of the Foundation, for suggesting a fund at HCF as the easiest way for Marguerite to accomplish her legacy.

“Marguerite was a very special lady who achieved so much as an educator and in business,” says Sam, “but she was also a very quiet person. This fund, supporting initiatives for children and youth, speaks for her and the things she cared about.”

 

From Spring 2022 Legacy newsletter


A trusting relationship

Kathy Wood already had a clear picture of how she and her husband John wanted to give to charity: she had spent her career as a trust officer helping people make decisions about their money.

Kathy and John demonstrated their trust in HCF by setting up a field-of-interest fund; this means that while they identify areas they want to support (animal welfare and adult literacy), they leave specific grantmaking decisions to the Foundation.

Animal welfare is important to the couple, who understand the joy that animals bring. “We have had pets for all of our marriage of 46 years and they have given us much happiness,” says Kathy. Half of the fund’s proceeds will support organizations that house, treat, feed and help the adoption of animals in need; the rest will support adult literacy, where they expect needs to grow. A portion of the fund will also go to the Community Fund that helps to address urgent community needs.

The Graas-wood Fund is a deferred fund, meaning the donation will come through the Woods’ estates. Giving through a will is a powerful way to give, and HCF is part of a national campaign called Will Power that seeks to educate Canadians about these benefits.

 

Excerpt from 2021 Fall Legacy newsletter


Hundred Waters Fund


Lori Dessau Tauber and Lewis Tauber first envisioned an HCF fund as part of the couple’s Our Millennium project. They established the Hundred Waters Fund to support artists who are making innovative connections with their community, naming it in tribute to the ideas and work of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, whose belief in the power of art and architecture to improve everyday life was a guiding principle for the couple.

“It is the partnership idea Lew and I thought was vital and interesting — the creative ways artists can support and engage community to improve quality of life,” says Lori.

Since Lew’s passing in August 2019, Lori looks back and finds even more meaning in the way they established and grew the fund together.

“Lew’s imagination was sparked by Hundertwasser,” she says, reflecting on his art, book, coin and stamp collecting, curation of an international mail art show, and his book about the artist. “This fund is a very personal legacy.” She remembers Lew on birthdays and anniversaries by encouraging friends and family to donate to the fund, which also supports the Community Fund.

“Our grants are small so far,” says Lori, “but even a small grant can be very powerful if it’s just what someone needs at the right moment.”

Excerpt from 2021 Spring Legacy newsletter


Jane and Stewart Capell Dream Weaver Fund

Jane Capell has been connected with Hamilton Community Foundation for more than 20 years, including monthly giving and participation in the Women 4 Change giving circle. She is thrilled by the latest step in that relationship: she and her husband’s Dream Weaver Fund is about to begin granting. The potential to change people’s lives is exciting. “Stewart’s passion is hunger and food security,” Jane says. “Mine is more abstract. I think everyone needs to be able to dream. Some just need a leg up. I hope to help turn someone’s nugget of a dream into reality.”

The Capells have chosen to work through Hamilton Community Foundation because of its expertise and its permanence. “The Foundation has the boots on the ground to know where the needs in the community are. We think it’s important to be flexible so that our giving – today and long after we’re gone – can continue to meet changing community needs.”

As a financial planner, Jane encourages others to consider philanthropy in their overall financial plan, too. She stresses both the joys of giving and its potential tax benefits. “I show people the math and then let them think about their options,” she says, options which include both current giving and estate planning.

Hamilton Community Foundation worked through those options with the Capells and Jane sings HCF’s praises about that relationship.

“The care and consideration they give every donor is outstanding. Even as huge as the Foundation has grown, it’s as if you’re the only person they’re dealing with. They know you.”


Ella Baird & Grace Baird McQueen Memorial Fund/Archie McQueen

Even after a 50-year career in teaching, Archie McQueen continues to contribute to the development of young Hamiltonians.

Since retiring in 1998, Archie has been both a supply teacher and a volunteer, running before and after school programs at Benetto Elementary School in north Hamilton. He gives time to other schools as well and his extraordinary volunteering was recognized in 2012 with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Archie donates his supply teaching salary back to school needs through his fund at Hamilton Community Foundation.

“Small grants from the fund can have a big impact,” he says, noting its recent support to the school’s gymnasium scoreboard and IPads for students. But the fund is also flexible; he can choose other recipients if the moment is right, as it was one year for special needs at his church, St. Paul’s Presbyterian.

Archie’s fund is named for his mother, Grace Baird McQueen and his aunt Ella Baird – sisters who helped put him on the path to success as a young adult. His aunt Ella gave Archie part of a bequest she received from her employers that helped him seed the fund.  Ella was in charge of nursing at Westinghouse and had a close relationship with the Myler family who ran the company.

“I wanted to honour my mother and my aunt,” Archie says, “and Hamilton Community Foundation came up as number one to help me do that.” He has been connected to HCF for some 30 years and says it’s a “marvelous organization” that is helping him “shed a little light on what might otherwise remain dark.”


A sporting chance

Giving circle crystallizes impact through HCF

The Phantom Moms know a lot about the value of organized sports for kids. The 10 mothers spent more than a decade shuttling their sons to hockey practices, games and tournaments, then sitting together in cold arenas, starting when the boys were age six. “It was our social life in those days,” says Julie Boateng, the mom the others call the “glue” of the group.

With their sons now in their twenties, the women remain friends and continue to have coffee together once a month. Having witnessed the power of hockey to give their boys physical skills, fitness, confidence, leadership, teamwork and other life advantages, they wanted to provide those opportunities to kids who couldn’t afford to participate. For the last several years, informally, they’ve been pooling a donation to give to arenas or skate clubs for kids who needed the help. “We really wanted to give back,” says Julie, “because we saw how valuable the sport experience is for children.”

Recently, the group took steps to formalize their giving and work through Hamilton Community Foundation to gradually build a fund that will go on forever. It will support access to all sports, not just hockey, and a portion will also meet Hamilton’s most urgent needs through HCF’s Community Fund. With this new approach, their donations are receipted for tax purposes, Julie has been freed from the responsibility of organizing everything, and the community foundation is helping them make the strongest impact with their giving. The Phantom Moms hope that over time their children may also get involved in the fund.

“With this fund, we can leave a legacy,” says Julie. “I hope others can learn from our experience how simple it can be for everyday people like us to make a lasting difference.”

 

Excerpt from 2019 Annual Report

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Walking the talk

New fund helps put mission into action

Jane Allison started her consulting business, Dovetail Community, in 2017 with the goal of helping corporations and others find ways of aligning their business objectives with their desire to be good corporate citizens.

“Corporate social responsibility is where profit meets purpose,” she says about the sweet spot where the values of an enterprise, its employees and its owners dovetail perfectly with its engagement in, and contribution to, the community. Some examples include companies that focus their hiring on at-risk youth to create a skilled workforce, include volunteerism as part of job performance and many other unique strategies that advance their business goals while strengthening the community.

As she described and refined Dovetail’s mission, Jane realized that she wanted to live those ideas herself—“walk the talk” as she puts it—even as a small start-up firm. Being familiar with Hamilton Community Foundation through her career at The Hamilton Spectator, Jane talked to HCF about creating a fund and directing a portion of each of her corporate billings into it. While the fund grows, it resides in the Community Fund; but ultimately it will become a donor-advised fund focused on mental wellness, kindness, body confidence and other issues Jane is passionate about.

She says establishing the fund is the fulfillment of a dream. The process of “really digging deep” into what she wanted to support was challenging and enormously satisfying. “You really think about what you stand for,” she says. To see her fund grow with small, regular additions to the capital from her business and personal philanthropy —along with the “miracle of invested earnings” and the expertise of HCF—pleases her immensely.

“It’s very empowering to realize that you can have an impact without having millions of dollars,” she says. “You just have to start.”

 

Excerpt from 2019 Annual Report


Carrying on the good news

Publisher ensures a legacy of giving

Hamilton Community Foundation is honoured to continue lifelong newspaperman Roger Brabant’s philanthropic legacy, as the successor organization to The Brabant Foundation.

Born in 1928, Roger G. Brabant entered the newspaper business as a young man with the Timmins Daily News in 1943. After newspaper stops in London, where he met his first wife Blanche, and the Niagara Peninsula, he purchased the Stoney Creek News in 1960.

This ultimately led to an office and production facility on Queenston Road in Stoney Creek. Additional Hamilton area weekly mastheads soon followed: Ancaster News, Dundas Star News, Mountain News, Real Estate News and Flamborough News. Following Blanche’s death in 1984, Roger continued to operate the growing weekly chain until 1987 at which time he sold to Southam Newspapers.

“Roger was schooled by Thomson Newspapers, where every nickel spent had to be exactly accounted for,” says his friend and executor, Bill Farrar. “So he ran a very tight ship. The cost-sensitive atmosphere that permeated Brabant Newspapers was respected by the staff and contributed to the spirit of camaraderie among them. Over the years, Brabant Newspapers provided welcome employment for many Hamilton region residents.”

Roger Brabant believed that his newspapers should be the “Good News Papers.” He felt that there was quite enough newspaper reporting of crime and other human failings. He wanted his organization to report only uplifting local news.

After he sold his newspapers, he felt a very strong desire to “give something back” to the Hamilton community in recognition of the success he had enjoyed within its boundaries. He founded The Brabant Foundation in 1987 with a significant portion of the proceeds from the sale of his business. In 1989, Roger married Lois Hill and together they collaborated on granting The Brabant Foundation funds to local Hamilton charities such as hospitals, food banks, churches and social assistance organizations until his death in 2017. To ensure a continuing legacy, Roger designated Hamilton Community Foundation as the successor to his foundation.

Roger chose Hamilton Community Foundation as the vehicle to carry on The Brabant Foundation’s work because he was satisfied that the community foundation was in the best position to continue to deliver his ‘good news,’ now in the form of financial assistance, to the Hamilton area,” says Farrar.

 

Excerpt from 2019 Annual Report


A new generation of philanthropy

Hamilton is always home for Yvonne Farah. Having grown up here, she now promotes the Hamilton story to members of her international MBA program. She’s also feeling her way into her personal direction in philanthropy – a legacy from her parents Elham and Joseph Farah, who established an HCF fund in 2005 that focuses on peace education and supports the YMCA’s Peace Medal program. Yvonne has been involved with those efforts for several years and has begun exploring additional avenues for strategic philanthropy as a contributor to the Foundation’s Women 4 Change initiative.

Even with a firm grounding in her family’s tradition of giving, she says that as a “borderline millennial” the idea of philanthropy can be daunting, but it needn’t be. That became clear through her affiliation with Women 4 Change.

“I realized that we do things every day, like mentoring a younger person, without labeling those actions philanthropic,” she says. “I’m so impressed and touched by the women in the group and the work that they do.”

Getting to see HCF’s expertise in action has been exciting to Yvonne.  She is hoping to become more involved once she finishes her MBA in June and returns full-time to Hamilton and her family’s convenience store business. Even with her international focus, “home is home” she says. “There’s always a connection.” The Farah tradition of philanthropy is alive and well in the next generation.

 

Excerpt from 2018 Annual Report


Looking back on a lifetime of giving

Lifelong Hamiltonian Frank Miller has a passion for travel — he has circled the globe four times — and an equal passion for his hometown and its citizens, tirelessly giving to local endeavors that have meaning to him.

“A light went on” says Frank when he realized that his resources were enough for him and he could indulge his philanthropic nature – a nature that was sparked by his mother when he was just a teenager. “She encouraged me as a boy to volunteer and to give away some of my earnings from my first part-time job.”  Frank’s mother remained supportive of his giving until her death at 100.

Frank’s philanthropic interests are wide-ranging and he enjoys seeing his gifts in action.  He has an extensive collection of teddy bears, and has shared this love by founding the Miller Bear Program at The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton (CAS), through which child protection staff can give bears to children who come into care, or who are in situations where they need comfort.  Dominic Verticchio, executive director CAS describes the impact of this gesture

“The Miller Bears put a smile on the young faces of those who come to us as the most vulnerable and fragile members of our community.”

Through the Frank Charles Miller Fund at HCF, Frank supports nursing and medical students, St Matthew’s House, natural heritage projects like the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System, and many other community efforts. He is also a long-time supporter of his church.

A successful entrepreneur, Frank wryly describes himself as “an infamous tightwad” for most of his adult life, but his record of giving belies that description. As he looks back – and ahead – he puts his philanthropy in perspective.

“The more you give away, the more you get back,” he concludes.

 

Excerpt from 2018 Annual Report