Imagine if you could make a financial donation to an organization that would generate interest from your original gift and give money every year to your specified cause?  That's what happened in Barrie on Tuesday when the Barrie Community Foundation presented cheques in the memory of Bill Porter and K'Leigh Cundall.

When Bill Porter passed away, his wife Eileen contributed to the Barrie Community Foundation, with annual gifts directed towards Barrie Public Library.

When K'Leigh Cundall passed away, her family created the K'Leigh Cundall Endowment Fund with annual gifts to go towards Children's Library services.

When Betty and Scott Franklin were married, they made a donation to Barrie Community Foundation and asked their wedding guests to do the same, in lieu of gifts.

There are many ways to give.

And on Tuesday, Barrie library officials were on hand to receive two cheques, one of $300 for general library use and one for $500 to be used for children's library needs. Last year, the K'Leigh Cundall endowment money was used to buy a puppet theatre for the children's library at the new Painswick branch. This year the children's library will make another suitable purchase in memory of the former Barrie high school student.

That's the best thing about the Community Foundation. BCF Chair Jim Perrin said the fund is looking to build its resources with money directed to specific programs by the donors or at the discretion of the community foundation itself. People can add to their endowment fund at any time; in fact, the Cundall family opens its fund for members of the public to add to what the family has already contributed, so K'Leigh's fund grows bigger each year.

The Barrie Community Foundation is the 150th in Canada, the first founded in Winnipeg in 1921.  Interesting to note that the Winnipeg fund gave out $14 million in grants this year, without touching their initial investment. The Barrie fund, considerably younger, sits at $64,000 right now and from that total gives out $800 a year. More funds donated in memory of a loved one, or as a gift from a living donor, means more money can be given out to worthy causes. It's important to know that the principal amount is never touched.

Board members include Mike Walker, as treasurer; Doug Adams, Lorraine Maher, Kemar Hayles and Doug Shaw. The Barrie Community Foundation would like to attract new members, to help with branding and marketing, media, promotions and member growth.

But Tuesday's gifts will continue to stimulate the memorials to two important Barrie residents.

And from that, we all benefit.

Thanks to the families of Bill Porter and K'Leigh Cundall. And to the BCF members who are keeping the dream alive. For more information, check out the website, www.barriecommunityfoundation.org

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