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'Social capital' makes Sudbury a community, says foundation

Without social capital, Sudbury would be nothing but a collection of buildings. It's the people and their generosity, intelligence and caring nature that make it a community.
Spence Webster, interim president of the Sudbury Manitoulin Children's Foundation, accepted $1,000 from Lee Ferguson, grants committee chair from Sudbury Community Foundation. Webster was one of many to receive funding from the SCF during its annual donation celebration. Photo by Jenny Jelen.

Without social capital, Sudbury would be nothing but a collection of buildings. 

It's the people and their generosity, intelligence and caring nature that make it a community.

On June 13, the Sudbury Community Foundation put more than 15 charities and individuals in the spotlight with a total of $73,985 in investments. Each of the organizations and individuals that received financial assistance play a role in bettering Sudbury.

Rahul Bhardwaj, president and CEO of the Toronto Community Foundation, spoke at the event. Hailing from London, England, and arriving in London, Ont., as a kid, Bhardwaj said communities are “beacons of hope” on the Canadian landscape.

He retold a story that illustrates his perception of social capital — from his early days in Canada.

Told to get out of his mother's hair, Bhardwaj went outside to play with the kids on the street.

A group of kids with sticks were wrapping up an informal game of road hockey when Bhadwaj arrived with the hockey stick left over in the apartment his family had moved to.

They quickly welcomed him in time for Game 2.

Nervous, his knees were shaking as one player threw sticks to decide teams. Once the organization was complete, Bhardwaj still couldn't move — until someone looked at him and said, “Hey you. You're on our team. Let's go.”

Since then, Bhardwaj has truly felt like a Canadian — embraced in a culture of caring.

He said he couldn't be happier to be part of the SCF's event.

Spence Webster was on hand to pick up $1,000 for the Sudbury Manitoulin Children's Foundation, thanks to the Maurice Keaney Memorial, CMHC Children's Dream and Courtney Herold Children's Fund.

The interim president of the Sudbury Manitoulin Children's Foundation said the money will help take disadvantaged kids off the waiting list and into summer camps.

Last year, the organization was able to send more than 500 kids to camp. Webster is hoping the organization can continue to have such a significant impact — but that can only happen with community support.

“I want to thank the SCF very much for the money,” he said.

Other organizations to receive funding include:

ALS Canada, North East Region - $8,500 from Greater Sudbury Charities
Better Beginnings, Better Futures - $2,500 from Kids Come First
Chantelle Rocheleau from Collège Notre-Dame - $500 from Twisted Doll Continuing Education
Finlandia Village - $15,000 from Flow Through
Junction Creek Stewardship Commitee - $3,000 from Parenting the Environment, Kids Come First and Place Bonadventure
Health Sciences North, Volunteer Association - $15,000 from Gord and Pat Slade
Jericho Road Ministries - $500 from Compassionate Community Fund
L'Arche Sudbury - $1,300 from PEO Sudbury Chapter
Maison Vale Hospice - $1,200 from Xstrata Nickel Community Delveopment, W. Bruce Martin
Navy League of Canada Sudbury Branch - $2,500 from Kids Come First
Northern Water Sports Centre - $10,000 from Greater Sudbury Charities
Ontario March of Dimes - $1,300 from PEO Sudbury Chapter
ParkSide Older Adult Centre - $2,000 from Xstrata Nickel Community Development
Pioneer Manor - $1,500 from Pauline and Herbert Goodspeed
Christian Williams from Sudbury Secondary School - $100 from Romeo Cundari Memorial Music Bursary
SickKids Hospital - $1,000 from Compassionate Community
Sudbury Action Centre for Youth - $2,285 from James Grassby Youth
Sudbury Arts Council - $2,500 from Xstrata Nickel Community Development
Sudbury Symphony Orchestra - $2,300 from Kids Come First Performing Arts

“These celebreations allow us to showcase what these local charities are doing to revitalize our community,” said Carmen Simmons, executive director of SCF.

“The Foundation has provided local charities with more than half a million dollars since the foundation was established.”

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