Deserving local students receive generous family legacy scholarship awards

By Lindsay Advocate

Three local philanthropists, Chris Handley, Mike Perry, and Phong Tan have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to ensuring access to quality education by establishing awards and scholarships for local elementary and high school students pursuing a post secondary education. These generous gifts have been made possible through their family legacy funds, established in collaboration with the Community Foundation of Kawartha Lakes.

By setting up family legacy funds, commonly known as donor advised funds (DAFs), within the Community Foundation, Handley, Perry, and Tan have not only found a charitable avenue for ongoing giving, but have also opened doors for prudent wealth management and tax deductions. This strategic approach allows them to make meaningful contributions to the education sector while maximizing the impact of their generosity.

All three of these generous fundholders offer awards and scholarships to elementary and high school students, with the support of local school principals, teachers and nearby college and university. The generosity demonstrated serves as a powerful inspiration, urging others to join in their efforts to uplift and empower the next generation. By investing in the education of deserving students, they are igniting a ripple effect of positive change that will extend far beyond the individual recipients, creating a stronger and more prosperous community.

Handley Memorial Fund

For four generations, Handley Lumber and Building Supplies in Fenelon Falls has been serving the needs of contractors, do-it-yourselfers and customers. In honour of his great-grandfather’s legacy and their success in the lumber industry since the 1930s, the Handley Memorial Fund has been set up by current owner, Chris Handley. Since 2021, this Fund has supported a variety of local endeavours, including The Grove Theatre and scholarship programs to the University of Toronto Nursing and Fleming College.

Motivated by family, their very own Lulu Johnston Memorial Scholarship at the U of T Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing honours Chris’ late maternal grandmother, Lulu Jesse (Nesbitt) Johnston. This financial scholarship helps students from rural communities seeking a career in nursing. In Chris’ words, “Lulu Johnston was accepted into a practical nursing program in a hospital in Lindsay, but due to the constraints on the family farm, she was not able to pursue her dream. In her honour, we want to recognize the challenges faced then, in studying nursing in a rural community. This scholarship in her name, will allow others to follow their dream, while supporting health care in rural communities.”

In honour of the life of his grandfather Ray Handley, the Ray Handley Memorial Award at Fleming College offers a $4,000 scholarship, by application to an accomplished graduate from any of the Kawartha Lakes secondary schools, who are currently enrolled in the business, forestry or in the urban forestry technician programs.

“If we’re willing to recognize students with rural backgrounds or those with a passion for providing health care in rural areas, I hope that also means we will be able to support those rural communities with the best and brightest coming out of these amazing schools,” says Chris Handley.

Doug & Mary Perry Higher Education Fund

Mary Perry

With great honour, Mike Perry, past president of the Community Foundation and now a city councillor, has established the Doug & Mary Perry Higher Education Fund. In memory of his loving parents, Mike launched this fund in 2020, which is intended to provide financial support and encouragement to graduates from the Fenelon Falls Secondary School interested in a career in teaching.

Doug and Mary Perry had strong beliefs in the power of public education to enable and inspire people and build communities. A graduate of Fenelon Falls Secondary School, Mary devoted her career to teaching.

The intent of this scholarship is to empowering graduates to aim for post-secondary education in field of teaching and education. This generous legacy grows and compounds over time, offering annual awards to young and aspiring teachers and educators in Fenelon Falls. Mike is grateful for his parents who instilled in him the value and joy of education and is happy that they will be remembered in helping students from FFSS continue learning.

“My mom and dad would be well-pleased continuing to help local students,” says Mike Perry. “The Community Foundation is great to work with, offering unique ways for donors to make the difference they want.”

Mai & Chuong Tan Fund

Phong Tan, owner manager of PharmaSave in Fenelon Falls and his family set up the Mai & Chuong Tan Fund, in honour of their amazing parents. As hardworking Canadians, Mai and Chuong Tan valued the importance of perseverance and commitment to family and community. They inspired confidence in their children, encouraged the pursuit of excellence, and gently stressed the importance of standing up to shine in times of adversity. Most importantly, they demonstrated that the greatest strength is found when we help one another become stronger.

Educational scholarships have been presented annually since 2021 to graduating students from both Fenelon Falls Secondary School and Langton Public School. Successful candidates must show resilience to consistently excel in their studies and extracurricular activities and show deserving qualities – passion, confidence, compassion, enthusiasm, leadership, analytical skills and foresight.

“Resilience, persistence, and a lot of effort are the secret ingredients,” says Phong Tan in reference to those who will benefit from the Mai & Chuong Tan Fund.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.