Children's Foundation Champion
Peter & Fiona Barrow
Peter & Fiona Barrow have been passionate and long-term supporters of the Children Foundation. Peter is the Past Chair of the Board of Directors. He and Fiona have generously supported us over the years as both volunteers and financial supporters personally and through their business, Petrona Communications. In celebration of the Foundation's 25th Anniversary, Peter wrote the article below which speaks to his integral part in the growth of the Foundation over the years.
By Peter Barrow
One of my favorite words is “Beyond”. It speaks of constantly moving forward, of striving to go further, of endless possibilities, and of dreams and hopes and ambitions that are just around the corner waiting to be fulfilled.
I believe “Beyond” is truly the story of the Children’s Foundation. In the very early days you could host all the volunteers in a small meeting room and the Board sat around a kitchen table. The “gala” was an hour-long lunch with a speaker that raised a few hundred dollars. The Foundation cost almost as much to run as it was able to give to others – a net sum game. It was tiny. But, it had big dreams to go “beyond” and wonderful people with the energy, love and commitment to make that happen.
1994 Children's Foundation Annual Report with a message from Chair Don Drone.
Many of my early Foundation memories are associated with the Billy Taylor Road Race, which I ran for many years, itself a symbol of “beyond”. Hundreds of runners and walkers of all ages tried to beat their personal best and a tough course to raise the Foundation’s profile and its bank account. One year, I was beaten by a 72-year old man who turned at the finish line and thrust a very damp $10 bill into my hand. “Thanks for a great race”, he said, “Can I donate this now?” That was the spirit that drove the Foundation forward and “beyond”- as it still does today.
My favorite recollections are the look on the faces of the young people that received the Promoli Scholarships. Some of them had overcome incredible odds to realize their dream of post-secondary education; and we had helped them, in just a small but vital way, to go “beyond” in their schooling and their lives.
Annual Coins for Kids Skating event organized by past Board Member Kevin Reynard.
Every year, one Foundation donor and former Board member hosted a skating afternoon at Christmas time. Hundreds of children come out to enjoy the ice, the season, each other and the event. My memory is of my grandchildren, flushed with joy and energy, skating round and round the rink, thanks to this kindness. It’s my favourite example of what the Foundation has always been about: every person associated with it, doing and giving what they can, filled with generosity and passion, to help us to go further, to grow stronger, to give more back to children: to go “beyond”.
It’s been wonderful. Here’s to the next 25 years!