WECF Launches Youth Committee

The WindsorEssex Community Foundation is excited to launch its very own Youth Committee! The Foundation is looking for young leaders in the Windsor-Essex community between the ages of 12 to 18 to invest in their community. For an application please visit http://www.wecf.ca, or call 519-255-6572

For over 30 years the Community Foundation has been managing legacy funds, making grants to support local charities, and bringing community partners together.
“Inspiring philanthropy to benefit our community today and forever” #Inspiringphilanthropy

WECF Youth Committee Poster 2015

New Club Inspires Philanthropy

New Club Inspires Philanthropy

Written by Craig Pearson (The Windsor Star)

New club aims to have 100 people donate total of $2.5 million

It’s an exclusive club with a twist — not about networking but giving. The newly launched Inspiration 100 seeks to assemble a group of philanthropists who commit to giving $25,000 over 10 years for a total of $2.5 million.The brainchild of the WindsorEssex Community Foundation, the Inspiration 100 will help the community many ways — in perpetuity. The $2.5 million will help boost the Community Foundation’s endowment fund, which already stands at more than $12 million and provides grants every year to a wide range of local charitable efforts. “The benefit of this will be huge,” said Marty Solcz, past chair of the WindsorEssex Community Foundation who came up with the idea. “There are infinite possibilities.”

The Inspiration 100 concept is simple: members agree to donate $2,500 a year for 10 years, or $20,000 up front. The group then meets every year to decide how to give out the money. The capital will remain in the endowment but the interest on investments — Solcz said the Community Foundation averages about six per cent growth a year — is available to boost local charities. Solcz hopes to franchise the concept to other community foundations — 195-strong across Canada — which would share the fun and even bring in a little more locally. Solcz’s goal for Inspiration 100 stretches further than just raising money in a unique way. He hopes to increase awareness about the WindsorEssex Community Foundation, which has a strange problem for something that has been doling out cash for three decades: it’s not that well-known. “Most community foundations have the same problem we do, which is people often don’t know about us,” said Solcz, chairman of the Solcz Group which includes Valiant Corp. “So we believe if we can get 100 people intimately involved with the foundation through Inspiration 100, they will spread the good word about us.”

Gabrielle Smith/The Windsor Star
Ross Clarke, left, and Marty Solcz show Inspiration 100 merchandise

In 1983, Mayor Bert Weeks, Charles Clark Sr., and Clifford Hatch Sr., established Heritage Windsor, the beginning of the local Community Foundation. Originally, the philanthropic group focused on improving the riverfront, though charitable funding soon grew.Besides providing grants, the WindsorEssex Community Foundation runs local initiatives such as Random Act of Kindness Day and Vital Signs, which takes the pulse of the community. Inspiration 100 is the latest do-good effort. “There are people out there who would like to be part of a group that does big things,” said Solcz, whose family has a history of philanthropy. “With Inspiration 100 you get a new community. You will be warmly welcomed into the company of 99 other like-minded individuals who have philanthropic ideas and want to do it a lot bigger than they could themselves.”

When interest on investment is factored in, Solcz hopes the Inspiration 100 money will grow to $3 million or $3.5 million in 10 years. Solcz has worked on his big idea since last year, when he first started making presentations on it. Inspiration 100 was only officially launched a week ago, however, but already has 12 members. One of those is Ross Clarke, owner of Clarke Surveyors, who liked the idea instantly.“I heard about it through a presentation Marty Solcz did at Rotary 1918,” Clarke said. “I was impressed with what they wanted to do. And Marty should be congratulated for making it happen. It’s a great initiative.”

If you would like to be a part of this exclusive opportunity to support our community, or would like more information about the Foundation, please contact us today at 519-255-6572 or e-mail info@wecf.ca

Posted by Kyrsten

Spotlighting our Impact

2014 Fast-Track Recipient – Canadian Mental Health Association: “Youth Summit”

The WindsorEssex Community Foundation granted $1,000.00 to the Mental Health Association to aid in the “Mental Health Youth Summit” event held on Thursday, November 20, 2014 at the Ciociaro Club in Windsor, involving 300 local high school students.IMG_1480

The event included group talk on topics such as substance abuse, anxiety and depression, with the goal of encouraging conversation about mental health and to reduce stigma. Other activities throughout the event included yoga, writing, dance, and music with the intention of demonstrating the many ways of helping to cope with mental illness.

Kim Willis (Senior Manager, Fund Development and Community Engagement) noted, “I cannot stress enough how amazing it was…great example of a collaborative effort in this community.”

The WindsorEssex Community Foundation was pleased to be part of such an innovative and successful event.

Posted by Kyrsten

10613083_748224621892580_2257885922416643151_nIMG_1483 

What are you doing for your community?

By Rebecca Taylor

Presenting the cheque to Ms. Seal's class at Hugh Beaton

KidStart Presentation for Ms. Seal’s Kindergarten class at Hugh Beaton

I was recently hired as the temporary administrative assistant at the WindsorEssex Community Foundation.  Needless to say it was surprising to learn what a community foundation actually does, but most surprising was what projects they have done and what projects they fund.  They have spent years beautifying the riverfront with the Peace Fountain, Bert Weeks Fountain, the Peace Beacon, and Charles Clark Square.  Each year they also fund community projects through their Community Impact Grant (CIG) program and the KidStart Mini-Grant program with the school boards.

Being at the foundation for the CIG and GECDSB KidStart program processes has given me more respect for the administrative side of getting a grant ready and implementing it, but it has also given me a warm fuzzy feeling about the direction our community is headed in.

KidStart Presentation for Ms. Thwaites and Ms. Antovski’s Kindergarten classes at W. G. Davis School

KidStart Presentation for Ms. Thwaites and Ms. Antovski’s Kindergarten classes at W. G. Davis School

I have attended KidStart cheque presentations for the last two days, and the enthusiasm and passion these kindergarteners have for their projects and their community astonished me.  I could really see the joy these kids felt being able to help other people with their projects.  I feel inspired by these children to play a role in making our community an even better place to live.  I challenge each and every one of you dear readers as well to see how you can get involved and help Windsor and Essex County become a better and more caring community.

To learn more about the WindsorEssex Community Foundation’s grant programs, please click here.