Main photo: Debi Davis, president of the Community Living Huntsville board of directors, and Bev Lashbrook, executive director of Hospice Huntsville (both at centre), accept $5,000 cheques from members of the Men of Grandview Benevolent Fund (from left) Derrick Tuyl, Paul Guimond, Jeff Lovegrove, Patrick Craig, Mark Firman, Mark Vader, Garry Lovegrove and Todd Stephens.
“It’s the right thing to do,” said Paul Guimond on behalf of the newly formed Men of Grandview Benevolent Fund. “I think anyone that’s in the position to give back has a bit of an obligation to.”
Several members of the fund were at Hospice Huntsville to present three $5,000 cheques to local organizations—Hospice Huntsville, Community Living Huntsville and the Chrysalis women’s shelter—in time for the annual Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday following American Thanksgiving.
The Men of Grandview Benevolent Fund is funded by donations from the membership of the Grandview Golf Club. Its initial mandate is to support charitable organizations that truly make a difference for the people of Huntsville and surrounding communities, noted Guimond. Another key goal of the Fund is to build a grassroots support system for Huntsville youth that have a strong interest in participating in extra-curricular activities but lack the means to do so.
The initial organizers of the Fund were always impressed by how quickly and generously the men of the Grandview—some of them long-time Huntsville locals, some new residents, and some cottagers who hope to one day call Huntsville home—rallied around any worthy cause that was casually mentioned over dinner, said Guimond.
The group has supported a wide variety of causes over the years, including providing funds to one of the club’s assistants so he could get his pro card, challenging each other during the Huntsville Hospital Foundation’s radiothon, and generously just passing the hat to help any worthy cause when someone stood up at dinner and made an appeal. They even quickly raised $2,000 for a friend of the club for house modifications to accommodate his son’s cancer recovery.
Last fall when news spread of Grandview’s long-time course superintendent Keith Walton’s unexpected death, the organizers knew that the Men of the Grandview would do all they could to support the Walton family. It was also the galvanizing moment that spawned the idea of The Men of Grandview Benevolent Fund, said Guimond.
The fact that their inaugural gifts are happening for Giving Tuesday is no accident, added Guimond. The members of Grandview hope to set an example of what can happen when like-minded people who care come together for a cause they believe in.
Both Bev Lashbrook, executive director of Hospice Huntsville, and Debi Davis, president of the Community Living Huntsville board of directors, thanks the men for their support. (A representative from Chrysalis was not available to attend.)
“What a great gift to the community,” said Lashbrook. “This gift is so important to us because we have to fundraise 60 per cent of our operating budget…but we work really hard through gifts like this and in memoriam (donations) and fundraising signature events to support the rest so that we can keep the doors open and the lights on. It certainly goes a long way in supporting our legacy of care because we will be here for generations to come supporting the community.” The gift to Hospice was made in memory of Sandra Lovegrove.
“How grateful we all are for your support,” added Davis. “You might be surprised to hear that not everyone who has developmental disabilities is funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services… There are many who fall through the cracks. We really appreciate this gift. Community Living Huntsville personally means a lot to me. Thank you all for your support.”
The Fund is still in its infancy and organizers are in the process of applying for charitable status as the Men of Grandview Foundation, which they hope will expand their reach and fundraising capability, said Guimond. They have many ideas percolating, but at the heart of all of them is a desire to support causes they believe in.
“There’s no shortage of (good causes), and we want to support causes where our contributions make a difference,” said Guimond. “To me it’s not a question of why would you do it, it’s a question of if you can, why wouldn’t you?”
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