Our Executive Director, Bonnie Moore, attended the Community Foundations of Canada’s Annual Conference in Calgary. Unfortunately, the Governor General could not attend, but created this lovely short video instead. Check it out:


Susan Lester, whose late husband started the foundation named in his honour, signed the transfer agreement on Wednesday, saying it’s the best way to ensure the bursaries continue to be doled out to students in need.

After 14 years, it was just too much work involved for their board of directors, Lester said.

“They had other things going on and we just thought it made perfect sense for a community bursary to join a community foundation. For us it was a win-win situation because the Community Foundation has allowed some of the board members to maintain control of the bursary.”

Family members and a board member will still short-list the applicants, who will be chosen based both on financial need and outstanding service to the community.

“We will be interviewing and we have the final say on who wins the bursaries,” Lester said. “The Community Foundation, on the other hand, does the daily administrative work. That was the part that was getting a little bit tedious and no one wanted to take it on.”

Originating from Harbour Youth Foundation started Justice Ronald B. Lester and agency co-founder Walter Serkowney, the foundation was renamed after Lester following his 2000 death.

Now valued at more than $300,000, the Ronald B. Lester foundation has given out more than $150,000 to 34 students since 2000.

Tere McDonald, chairman of the Thunder Bay Community Foundation, said their excited to help administer to the Lester foundation funds.

The TBCF started 42 years ago with a $100,000 donation. It’s grown to more than $8 million, with $318,000 disbursed annually.

Taking on the Ronald B. Lester Foundation is a great fit, McDonald said.

“Our foundation gives people the opportunity to create their own endowment, to create their living and lasting legacies. So it’s the donors that create the bursaries and the scholarships. It’s their will that wants students in the area to continue their education. So we’re just the vehicle for them to carry out their wishes to enrich the lives of students in Northwestern Ontario.”

The Ronald B. Lester Memorial Youth Foundation bursaries will be advertised in March and given out each June at the TBCF’s annual reception.


The Thunder Bay Community Foundation recently lost a beloved Trustee, Dr. Marguerite Neelands.  Dr. Neelands served on the Board from 1991 – 1996 and most recently continued to be involved through her support of the TBCF Trustee Alumni Fund.  “A firm believer in giving back to one’s community” Marg’s contributions to many organizations has left a lasting legacy.


Our thoughts and well wishes go out to the loved ones and those impacted by June Morgan MacDonald. Mrs. MacDonald was the founder the June Morgan MacDonald Bursary for Arts and Design.


Learn more about the first donor to the Thunder Bay Community Foundation. Follow this link to read Nicholas Pustina’s article recalling the life and character of Mrs. Prudence Morton.


This year was the 2nd Annual Thunder Bay Community Foundation Alumni Reception. This event unites past board members with present board members and celebrates the contributions the Foundation has made to the community. This year’s event was hosted by Cliff Friesen (former board member) and Susan Jones Friesen at their beautiful Whitewater home. The proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Children’s Aid Society “Community Cupboard”.


In December 2013, Lakehead University’s Kristen Jones-Bonofiglio was proud to accept the Dr. R.K. Dewar Medical Research Grant for $5,000 from the Thunder Bay Community Foundation.

This generous support will contribute to the educational research project entitled Good Medicine: Supporting Elderly Individuals at Home in Northwestern Ontario being undertaken by Jones-Bonofiglio, a research affiliate with the Centre for Education and Research on Aging and Health (CERAH).

Emphasizing the idea that a person’s home has the potential to play a key role in quality care, this project will evaluate the use of mobile simulation technology in the delivery of health care education for interdisciplinary health care teams.

Led by principle investigator Jones-Bonofiglio, community partners on this endeavor include the School of Nursing, CERAH, and the Northwestern Ontario End of Life Care Network.

Lasting one year, this innovative project will support the progress and provision of health care that meets individual, family, and community needs in Thunder Bay, and honours the life and work of Dr. Robert Kerr Dewar, who believed in supporting and building capacity in health sciences and health care.

“Over the past few years, we have hosted many successful simulation research projects in the lab,” said Jones-Bonofiglio.

“This project allows us to take simulation out into the community and evaluate its use and potential for continuing education and professional development. The ultimate goal is to contribute to quality of life through excellence in care for elderly individuals in our community.”


Unimaginable Success for Animal Welfare Fund

On behalf of the Keri Chase Foundation, I would like to extend a huge thank you to the Thunder Bay community for the tremendous support they have given to our charity for the past 12 years. We could never have imagined we would have such success!

The Keri Chase Memorial Animal Welfare Fund is now managed by the Thunder Bay Community Foundation and sits at $245,000! In addition, we have been able to directly donate over $50,000 to animal welfare charities. We expect that between $12,000 and $15,000 will be available annually to registered animal charities in the Thunder Bay area starting in the fall of 2014.

Donations can still be made to our charity or to the Thunder Bay Community Foundation directed to the Keri Chase Memorial Animal Welfare Fund. Please check our website for more details at, especially in respect of memorials for pets and individuals. Thank you!

Diane Chase

President, The Keri Chase Foundation

Gorham, Ontario

Keri Chase Foundation at Thunder Bay Community Foundation


Keri Coleen Chase

1959 – 2001


Charities Benefit from Thunder Bay Community Foundation

The Thunder Bay Community Foundation provided some early holiday cheer as it gave out over $250,000 to 40 Charities. “It is all because of the generosity of our donors both living and who have left bequests in their wills that we are able to give out a total of $318,000 in 2013” said Tere McDonald Chair of the TBCF.

The Charities were honoured at a Reception hosted by Wayne Toyota. “It is an opportunity for the Executive Directors and Board Members from the local Charities to get to know each other and for our donors to see the people who are engaged in making a difference in Thunder Bay,” said Bonnie Moore the Executive Director of the TBCF.

The grant amounts ranged from $25,000 to $600. Some exciting project included the building of a garage at the Boys and Girls Club, Shelter House Elder in Residence, as well as the Inaugural Trustee Alumni Fund award to Red Cross for an AntiBullying Program.


Members of the Thunder Bay Community Foundation and the Ronald B. Lester Memorial Youth Foundation sign an agreement Wednesday, transferring the assets of the Lester foundation to the Thunder Bay Community Foundation. Back row: Maria Hudolin (from left), Lesley Bell, Sandra Seibel and Jordan Lester. Front row: Tere McDonald, Susan Lester, Leith Dunick,

Beatrice Kaiser the Ross Wilson Scholarship recipient spoke on behalf of the 26 students at the Scholarship & Bursary Awards’ Reception June 11, 2014 at the NorWester Hotel.

The Thunder Bay Community Foundation recognized 25 graduating secondary school students form across the region for their academic acheivements this school year. Scholarships and bursaries worth a total of $80,000 were presented June 11, 2014. Accepting awards from left: McKenna Beockner, Melissa Davidson, Kelsey Frankl, Carter Dumonski, Shelby Rooney, Jak Lorree-Spacek, Bonnie Donaghy, Wilson Poulter, Abby Rose Arnold, Ankur Shahi, Shelby Malakoff, Matthew Jollineau, Beatrice Kaiser, Marisa Curran, Elora Oades, Hayley Krasowski, Alexis Penna, Adrian Grebowicz, Montana Takalo, Nathan Ryan, Johnathan Kettle, Brock Borody, Logan Turner and Reegan Bushby.