We are truly honoured to have such forward-thinking and generous supporters, who are building a stronger community for everyone, today and always.
To each and every OCF donor and fundholder: We hope you know how much you mean to us and our community!
View the videos and read on to learn more about some of our amazing fundholders. More stories are being added so come back often to read about OCF donors and fundholders.
The Ross & Fran McElroy Fund
As early OCF fundholders, Fran and Ross McElroy have seen the Foundation grow into what it is today. They wanted to give back to the community that has given them so much, and the Oxford Community Foundation provided them the chance to do so, now and after they’re gone.
Ross and Fran are not originally from Oxford County. However, Ross does remember a time earlier in his life when he visited a farm just north of Barrie and because of that visit, he envisioned living in a smaller community. After graduating from Medical School in Toronto, Ross got a job at Woodstock General Hospital, while Fran, with a PhD in biochemistry, found work doing research at Western University in the Medical School’s Pharmacology Department. What’s more, they found a beautiful farm in 1972 that convinced them that Oxford County was where they needed to be.
Fran and Ross were struck by the abundant kindness of those around them and the generous welcome they received. They remember one neighbor in particular who came over, shook their hands, and said, “Georges, retired Jersey farmer. Welcome to Woodstock.” Fran laughs when remembering and says, “Makes you feel good.” After they moved from Toronto, Fran and Ross used to joke that by moving from the big city and plunking themselves on a farm, their main function was to provide comic relief for the local farmers.
Fran and Ross hope that Oxford County doesn’t lose its character. Fran says, “When we have guests stay over, we’re always so proud because Oxford has such a wonderful feel, and we hope it doesn’t lose that charm.”
Woodstock feels so small and intimate – they want it to keep that sense of community. With the help of the Oxford Community Foundation, Fran and Ross are able to leave a legacy of community, and support initiatives and organizations where they believe Oxford can grow – now and in the future.
B&R George Cultural Fund
Brian and Rosemary started the fund in 2006 in hopes of giving people the opportunity to enjoy the arts, whether it be funding someone’s first theatrical production or sending a child who holds great potential to music lessons. “There’s just so much talent in Oxford County that it’d be a shame not to support this work,” voiced Rosemary.
Both Brian and Rosemary have been actively involved in the arts throughout their lives. From their experiences, they recognized a need for funding of arts and culture in the Oxford community. “Arts organizations kind of work from a shoestring,” says Brian. “Therefore, if there’s any money around, they’re always looking for a helping hand, and we’re happy to be able to provide some of that by starting a fund.”
Brian emphasizes that every person in the community needs the arts, just as they need sports or academia. He believes that we live as complete people with many interests, not as individuals involved in just one activity.
OCF makes it easy to start a fund. “We’ve been very fortunate. We started this fund very small, and over time we were able to add more money to it,” said Brian, adding, “There’s a wide variety of things that people can give to. Whether it be education or the environment or whatever your particular interest is, there’s a great opportunity to have your own legacy go forward for years to come.”
For more information on how you can become involved, please contact: