Testimonials from our donors

Catherine Rowe et John Di Gironimo
Catherine Rowe and John Di Gironimo Family Foundation

Catherine Rowe and John Di Gironimo Family Foundation
Catherine Rowe & John Di Gironimo Family Foundation
Catherine Rowe has always worked in philanthropy. As a philanthropist, she considers it essential "to get involved personally in organizations. Both giving financial support and getting involved as a volunteer is ideal. The first step is educating oneself about organizations and the issues they deal with."

For her family, the idea of setting up a fund to support causes that matter to them came naturally. "John and I decided that the timing was right to start it now so that we could all make decisions together as a family about the causes we want to support.

Now Mrs. Rowe and her husband have also decided to set up a bequest to continue their commitment. "When our children were approaching adulthood we realized it was time to update our wills and it was then that we made the decision to include philanthropy in our legacy. We discussed it as a family and it was a very lovely and positive experience. The decision gives us a way to influence the future for causes that have been important to us in our lifetime. It is very comforting to think that this will go on even after we are gone."

The Catherine Rowe and John Di Gironimo Family Foundation fund is particularly concerned about the environment, which their daughters care deeply about, and is dedicated to supporting nurses. "There are a number of causes and organizations that are important to us. One of the decisions I made when thinking of a legacy gift is to create a nursing fund at St. Mary's Hospital - in honour of my mother, who was a nurse and had worked at St. Mary's. The fund will help nurses to pursue their training when they might not otherwise be able to. This was a very meaningful decision for me."

Other causes that have become important for us are related to the environment - our daughters are very involved and knowledgeable about these. We will be discussing each philanthropic decision as a family to choose the causes that are both important to us and impactful to our community. Our interests have grown and evolved to include health, environment and music, but we also believe in maintaining loyalty to causes we have chosen so that the impact of our giving can be greater."

Mrs. Rowe has long been involved in the causes that matter to her, and she has simple but smart advice for those who want to make a difference:

"Start today. Start by becoming informed about causes that are important to you personally. If you can, get involved, but whether it be your time or your money, act on your values and beliefs. And talk about the causes you support with others. Having more people actively engaged in philanthropy makes our community stronger and better."

Diana and Sam Scalia
CIPBA Bursary Fund

Diana and Sam Scalia, CIPBA Bursary Fund
Diana et Sam Scalia, CIPBA Bursary Fund
Giving back is a way of life for Diana and Sam Scalia."My wife and I feel that we have been very fortunate in our careers as businesspeople. It is very important for us to give back to our community. We have always been involved."

Mr. Scalia is a long-standing member of various boards and president of the CIBPA (Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association). In late 2018, he and his wife set up a fund to support bursaries awarded by the association.

"For us, creating endowment funds was a means to ensure more stable funding for the bursaries program. As a former board member myself, I know how serious FGM is. When the CIBPA started its reflection on creating an endowment fund, it was clear that we do not have the expertise or the resources to manage a fund. Therefore, I suggested that we have our funds managed at FGM. It is operating very well, has reasonable fees, and it is a very flexible and transparent organization. I knew it was the right thing to do."

This bursary program is open to university students of Italian origin enrolled in any discipline or specialized program. Thanks to the advantages of a fund at FGM, this program could be extended to students at other levels, such as vocational training. "With our funding more secure and stronger, we want to open up and set up a bursary program for students in trade school. Because we do need lawyers and doctors, but we also need plumbers, electricians, etc."

Mr. Scalia's advice to anyone who wants to become a philanthropist is to think carefully about issues that matter to them so that they can then spread the word. "First, it has to come from the heart. Philanthropy is more than just writing cheques for charities. Being involved with them, knowing what they do, and knowing about their causes is much more satisfying. I also think philanthropists who get personally involved create more impact. They can help draw attention towards the causes or organizations they are contributing to."