$211,043 Granted in 2021
ARTS, CULTURE & HERITAGE
Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre – Inspiring the art of sewing – $3,000 from the B&R George Cultural Fund and the William & Mary Mackesy Community Fund is helping to inspire and educate young sewers. Funds were used to purchase six Janome sewing machines, scissors, material and thread for their modern sewing classes for young adults 12+.
K2K Productions – Developing community and skills in theatre -$15,500 from the Dennis and Joan Vollmershausen Family Fund supported K2K Productions in mentoring and coaching students in grades 2-12 in theatre.
Plattsville & District Heritage Society – Honouring the greatest of sacrifice – $480 from the Joland Family Fund helped to clean and restore the Chesterfield Cenotaph which was erected in 1920 to commemorate those who fought in WWI, WWII, the Korean War and most recent, Tyler Todd who died in the Afghanistan War.
Remembering Our Heritage – $160 from the Joland Family Fund supported the maintenance of the Evergreen Cemetery in Lynedoch. And, $500 from the Ross & Fran McElroy Fund supported the upkeep of the Presbyterian Cemetery in Woodstock.
Canadian Wildlife Federation Inc. – Supporting wildlife and habitat conservation – $400 from the Dennis and Joan Vollmershausen Family Fund supported wildlife and habitat conservation in Oxford County for the use and enjoyment of all.
Ingersoll & District Nature Club – Enhancing trail safety and enjoyment – $900 from the Ken & Lynda Whiteford Fund supported the reconstruction of the main bridge and the cutting of a new trail at the north end of Edwards Trail at the Lawson Nature Reserve.
Oxford County Trails Council – Connecting people with the healing power of nature – $10,000 from the Healthy Communities Initiative Fund in partnership with Community Foundations of Canada is supporting the construction of a bridge for Hodge’s Pond Trail. $1,350 from the Oxford Environmental, the Heroes Among Us and the Ross & Fran McElroy Funds is helping fund several initiatives including the installation of landscaping and twin benches overlooking the Thames River Wetlands, improving and regrading the 45th Line entrance and parking lot, and creating a pollinator garden adjacent to the trail on the eastern sand hills.
Thames Talbot Land Trust – Protecting wildlife and healthy communities – $1,800 from the Stevens Fund helped support the permanent protection of Ross’s Woods, an important wildlife refuge, part of the 178.8 ha Five Points Woods Wetland Complex, near Ingersoll. Ross’s Woods is an entirely wooded parcel that contains a mixture of upland and swamp habitats which supports many species of birds, amphibians, turtles, dragonflies and other wildlife.
Zorra Recreation Advisory Committee – Providing gathering spaces with healthy and delicious food – $9,000 from the Healthy Communities Initiative Fund in partnership with Community Foundations of Canada and the Government of Canada supported the creation of community gardens in 2021 in Harrington, Embro and more to come in Thamesford in 2022. The Zorra Community Gardens in Embro and Harrington bring together groups of like-minded gardeners to create, execute and maintain a garden within their respective community. The Gardens, located in a central and easily accessible place, benefit
their community through community engagement and learning experiences that provide education on sustainability, habitats, and our natural environment. Many families enjoyed fresh produce over the season and look forward to what they can grow this year!
COMMUNITY & SOCIAL SERVICES
Big Brothers Big Sisters Oxford – Mentoring, building confidence and positive influence – $1,500 from the Doug & Yvonne Eckel and Henning Hansen Memorial Funds supported SOAR (Social Opportunities Activities Relationships) program activities, supplies, and supervision for over 100 young people who are waiting to be matched. Twenty young people and their mentors were provided with the opportunity to learn Karate in Ingersoll and Horseback riding just outside of Woodstock. Seven youth, ages 9 to 17, participated in the riding group dedicated to PRISM kids (2SLGBTQIA+). Afraid of joining any group and having others find out he is trans, one young boy nervously agreed to participate after discussions with supportive and encouraging staff. A mentor shared that he and the other two youth talked the entire car ride about their gender identities and pronouns. His mom shared, “The horseback ridging group has become a priority in our home. He’s been so excited to meet a friend who is also transgender and the two are continuing their friendship outside of the group.”
United Way Oxford – Opening up new opportunities for a better future – $1,000 from the Lessif Family Fund supported the Supplies 4 Students program. Education is a game changer and provides pathways out of poverty for children and youth. Back to school is an expensive time of year, and for far too many families in Oxford County, those additional costs are an unbearable burden. The program provided supports for 955 grade JK to 12 students in September 2021. $3,000 from Dennis and Joan Vollmershausen Family Fund supported services and programs provided by United Way Oxford.
Operation Sharing – Contributing to better relationships and days – $8,350 from the Operation Sharing Agency Endowment Fund and the Frank & Marion Smith Fund, provided funding for services and programs that challenge the stigmas surrounding poverty. Supports allow community members to maintain their dignity and choice, while simultaneously providing them with tactile skills developed in a community environment. They’re creating long-term skills that facilitate self-sufficiency $1,000 from the Dennis and Joan Vollmershausen Family Fund supported the Christmas Place, helping to provide a better Christmas for 325 families and 781 children in Oxford County in 2021.
Southgate Senior Centre – Providing healthy food for seniors – $11,100 from the Maple Leaf Community Fund honouring Harvey & Erma Beaty funded the purchase of a three door freezer for the Local Roots Food program which supports seniors seeking healthy affordable food. “It’s like Christmas everyday when I open the new freezers,” shared Kristin Burke, Assistant Cook. “With the extra freezers absolutely nothing goes to waste in our kitchen which really helps us keep our costs down and our prices low. We are finally able to stay ahead of the increased demand for meals from our community.”
Women’s Employment Resource Centre – Supporting food rescue and distribution – $6,910 from the Maple Leaf Community Fund honouring Harvey & Erma Beaty was used to purchase fridges, freezers, totes and a cart for the Food Forward Oxford Program. With these purchases, the food coalition has been able to rescue larger food donations and store them prior to distribution. This program helps those who are food insecure access food and reduce their food costs.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Diabetes Canada – Offering youth a better quality of life – $1,900 from the William & Mary Mackesy Community Fund and the Ken & Lynda Whiteford Fund helped to cover the cost of children attending D-Camp. D-Camps empower children and youth with type 1 Diabetes to learn real life skills in managing and maintaining their mental, physical and emotional health despite restrictions they face due to diabetes.
Tillsonburg Multi Service Centre – Developing volunteers for valuable programs – $1,200 from the Alabastine-Wilkinson Family Fund enhanced the volunteer development efforts (recruitment, orientation, training, etc.) of the Meals on Wheels program. This helps meet the growing needs of the hot and frozen food program for seniors and adults living with disabilities in Oxford County. An additional three new volunteers joined the 21 active volunteers delivering this valuable service. This program impacts the health and nutrition of approximately 50 clients daily for hot meals and approximately 20 clients weekly with frozen foods.
Alzheimer Society Southwest Partners – $6,250 from the Vollmershausen Family Fund helped provide counselling, care partner education, support groups and therapeutic recreation programs to 1,007 active clients throughout Oxford County. Supporting a vulnerable population meant that many of programs and services were delivered virtually during the pandemic. Adapting program delivery ensured clients received the support they need while observing changing public health guidelines.
Children’s Aid Society Oxford – Helping children, youth, and families be safe, strong, and connected – Disbursements from the Children’s Aid Society Oxford Agency Endowed Fund included $8,000 for bursaries for six students attending post-secondary institutions. In addition, $14,187 was dispersed for 35 Chrome Books and headsets for Kin Service Children (ages 4-17) to support remote schoolwork.
Junior Achievement Southwestern Ontario – Impacting future dreams and outcomes – $1,300 from the William & Mary Mackesy Community Fund supported two JA Economics for Success programs for 54 Grade 8 students in Oxford County. Students learned the advantages of staying in school, as well as what’s needed to succeed in today’s workforce. Students also created a budget for living on their own and explored strategies for success so that they could see the link between education and achieving their goals.
Strong Start Charitable Organization – Inspiring young learners – $2,700 from the William & Mary Mackesy Community Fund went to Letters, Sounds and Words Program materials. The program, offered in elementary schools by trained volunteers, is a fun and engaging way to help young children acquire the essential literacy skills needed to be confident and successful learners.
Oxford County Library – Providing healthy spaces and food education – $31,265 from the Healthy Communities Initiative Fund in partnership with Community Foundations of Canada and the Government of Canada, supported the revitalization of the playground area in Tillsonburg’s Library Park’s outdoor learning classroom. $2,690 from the Maple Leaf Community Fund honouring Harvey & Erma Beaty funded the purchase of grow towers for the Ingersoll and Tillsonburg Libraries. Programs offered throughout the year connect the Seed Library to the Grow Towers with food education and engage families with planting, harvesting and cooking workshops.
Tillsonburg Senior Centre – Expanding offerings and connections – $500 from the Alabastine-Wilkinson Family Fund covered access fees for an expanded on-line video library. The offering now includes a series of short educational and inspirational videos on practical topics by motivational speaker Michael C. Lewis. These videos were also used for well-being and mental health programming, followed by lunch hour discussions.
Children’s Aid Society Oxford Fund awarded bursaries to
six children in care pursuing post secondary education
Tyler Arts Athletic Award to Kaily Moffatt
Jordan Hawkins Memorial Bursary to Emily Muirhead
Laurie Hawkins Memorial Bursary to Josh Underwood
Cassandra Hawkins Memorial Bursary to Mykhailo Khakhula
Oxford Manufacturers for Skills Development Bursary
to Dominik Wojtas
Pat & Barry Smith Leadership Bursary to Breanna Egan & Sydney Hooper
Lorna & George Roberts Bursary to Aidan Simpson
SPORTS & RECREATION
Township of Zorra – Fostering community gathering and play – $10,000 was awarded to the Zorra Splash Committee from the Healthy Communities Initiative Fund in partnership with Community Foundations of Canada and the Government of Canada. The Embro community can anticipate coming together and staying active and cool in their new splash pad in 2022. $2,143 was granted to the Township from the Thamesford Lawn Bowling Club Fund to offer free public skating each Sunday at the Thamesford District Recreation Centre. This has provided opportunities to families in the community to access recreation without the burden of expensive costs and equipment. Skating is a popular pastime for all ages and abilities. One resident shared, “Coming to the Community Centre has been a great way to meet with friends and family to enjoy an activity together.”
Woodstock Minor Hockey – Introducing youth to the game of hockey – $450 from the Hawkins Memorial Fund in memory of Richard Hawkins supports the Just Try It hockey program offered through Woodstock Minor Hockey. These fun-filled sessions help new hockey players develop positive playing attitudes and foster an enjoyment of hockey as a lifetime sport and hobby. The funding provides the children with ice time, lunch, and equipment that they can keep if they decide to join a hockey league in the fall.
Ingersoll & District Minor Hockey – Providing opportunities – $1,500 from the Tyler Arts Legacy Fund and $3,098 from the Canada Summers Game Fund were used to provide children from families with limited financial resources the opportunity to play hockey, to learn new skills and have fun making new connections. The award from the Tyler Arts Legacy Fund covered registration fees and the award from the Canada Summers Game Fund purchased hockey equipment and other items needed to play.
AND MORE ….
$3,500 from the Dr. Patricia Brown Memorial Fund was disbursed to the Knox Presbyterian Church to help refurbish the ramp at the Church. The ramp allows for safe handicap access to the church for Knox members and for those coming to the church from the community to enjoy concerts and events.
Additional disbursements were made from donor designated funds including the Joland Family Fund, the Ross & Fran McElroy Fund and the Dennis & Joan Vollmershausen Family Fund to the following organizations:
• ALS Society of Canada
• Beginnings Family Services & Pregnancy Care Centre
• Grand Erie District School Board
• English Language Institute China Society (ELIC Canada)
• The Fraser Institute
• Ingamo Family Homes
• Innerkip Presbyterian Church
• Ivey Business School
• Osteoporosis Canada
• Terry Fox Foundation
• VON Oxford Sakura House
• Woodstock Hospital Foundation
• Woodstock Soccer Club
• Youth Unlimited YFC Woodstock