R+T Park Tenant's Fund

As the saying goes, charity begins at home. In this issue of WATCH Magazine, we are exploring the amazing social ventures located here within the Research + Technology Park, and the people who represent the inspiration and effort behind these organizations - who have dedicated their careers to helping our non-profit community make a difference in people's lives.

We are equally proud to share with you the story of our own social venture, the R+T Park Tenant's Fund. This charitable organization, founded seven years ago, has to date raised more than $126,000 on behalf of local children's charities and community based projects here in Waterloo Region.

Like many of the companies - large and small - who call the R+T Park home, the Tenant's Fund began as a simple idea. Seven years ago, a couple of residents in the Park approached us with the idea of hosting a golf tournament. An organizing committee was pulled together, and it was decided that proceeds of the tournament would go to charity.

As word of our planned tournament hit the street, we were simply overwhelmed by Park residents' response to the idea, and also, by charities seeking to benefit from any money raised. The committee, recognizing that the will to give - and the demand -- was very real, decided to investigate making the tournament an annual thing, and the creation of an umbrella organization to administer charitable giving on behalf of the Park.

In shaping our program we consulted with organizations that do this kind of thing for a living, such as the United Way and the Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation, and examined many different giving opportunities. And after much deliberation, we ended up partnering with the Rosemary Smith and the KW Community Foundation to administer our fund, and focused our giving on children's charities and community based projects. By establishing this umbrella organization for giving, long after we've moved on, the R+T Park's Tenant Fund will continue to support those in need in the community for many years to come. Today, funds raised from our annual golf tournament, every barbeque we host, and any other charity event flows back to the Tenant Fund and into the hands of non-profits serving children and families in Waterloo Region.

As a final note, I'm very happy to share with you the results of this year's R+T Park Annual Charity Golf Tournament, held June 27, 2013. Over 200 golfers participated in the event, including many of the start-ups located at the Accelerator Centre, who's youthful enthusiasm for giving back continues to impress all around them. Together, we raised $21,000 for the Tenant's Fund. We also used this annual event to announce our 2013 non-profit beneficiary, Hospice Waterloo Region, Families First, an organization assisting individuals requiring palliative care, their families and friends, and individuals who are bereaved.

"The R+T Tenants' Fund is a tremendous asset to our community. The contributions provided by the tech sector through the Fund, and the University of Waterloo's leadership in this regard, help to make a very real difference community."

-Rosemary Smith, CEO, The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation