Grant Stories

Grants 2015

Posted by on Mar 11, 2016 in Grant stories, News | Comments Off on Grants 2015

In 2015 The Grand Bend Community Foundation  delivered over 120,000 dollars to area community charities and projects.

Launch_picWe were delighted to provide a matching grant with the Grand Bend Rotary club to the Municipality of Lambton shores in order to launch a major local project – The Rotary Community Stage. This wonderful project will bring music and entertainment back to the beach in a big way. Ground has broken for construction and project completion is expected by end of May 2016. Thanks also goes out to the many local donors who stepped forward with flow through funds for this project .


In 2015 Grants were also provided to

Municipality Lambton Shores    
     Grand Bend Christmas lights & decor 
     Rotary Community Stage $15,000  
    Summer Sunset Sounds  $2000  
Scouts Canada (Zurich) $1,500  
     Equipment & facilities upgrades    
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority  
     Grade 8 Water Education  $5,000  
     5000 Trees Project $3,000  
     Lambton Shores trail Association (docks)  $2,500  
 Huron Shores United Church $10,000
Big Brothers Big Sisters South Huron  $10,000  
     Big Bunch Group
     Partially funded by   the Relouw Fund  and the 2001 London alliance Canada Summer games fund 
Lambton Kent District School Board $1700  
   MJ. Muma Bursary (2)recipients     

Special thanks to our fund holders who have helped with funding of these grants.

The Tony and Fran Relouw Fund. The MJ Muma fund, The Krech Family Fund, The Donaldson Family fund, The Charlotte Edwards Fund for the Arts, The Hay Communications Fund, The Sabourin Family Fund.

We also need to thank the following donors who have established emerging funds in the foundation through donations. The Catherine Campbell Fund, The Jim and Jacquie Southcott Fund, The Hank and Nancy Winters Fund, the Brian and Irene Hall Fund and The South Huron Community Fund.

Local donors also supported the following with flow through funds through the foundation.

Forest Cliff Camps, Salvation Army, South Huron Hospital, Rotary Community Stage, United Way Perth Huron, World Wild Life fund, MMT Foundation.


Want to make a real long-term difference in your community? Talk to us, we can help you with, specialized tax efficient forms of giving that can make difference in your name forever in your community.

Big Bunch Grant 2014 Thanks .

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in Grant stories, News | Comments Off on Big Bunch Grant 2014 Thanks .



” The Grand Bend Community Foundation is delighted to make grants that make a real difference in the lives of residents of our community. It is lovely to receive a thank you in this way. Keep up the wonderful work Big Brothers Big Sisters South Huron”

Hank Winters – Board Chair





Community Garden Grand Bend

Posted by on Apr 16, 2013 in Grant stories, Photos | Comments Off on Community Garden Grand Bend

Community Garden Grand Bend

In 2012 the Grand Bend Community Foundation made a small grant to the Communities in Bloom Grand Bend Community Garden.

Look what happened.


Community Gardening Blooming in Lambton Shores 

(Written by Pat Morden)

It started on a cool but sunny Saturday in May 2012. A group of Grand Bend, Ontario residents met on a patch of grass behind the community soccer fields, shovels and rakes in hand. Most of them didn’t know each other, but they had one thing in common: a burning desire to grow vegetables!

Many people in Grand Bend, a lakeside resort town, live in heavily treed areas, where vegetables grow reluctantly if at all. A community garden was started in 2011 on a small patch of land behind the Community Health Centre. It was tough going – the soil was heavy, and the season was late, cool and wet. Still, there was great excitement when a few carrots and other vegetables were harvested.

In early 2012, there was construction on land adjacent to the Community Health Centre, and the garden had to move. The soccer field site was provided by the Municipality of Lambton Shores, and volunteers eagerly went to work. On that first April work day, the grassy ground was broken and a rustic fence was erected to keep rabbits out. Before long, garden manager Walt Michielsens had created eight 4’ X 12’ raised beds, surrounded by mulch walkways, and installed a water tank. Generous funding from the Grand Bend Community Foundation paid for soil, lumber and other supplies. By the end of May, gardeners were planting out their plots. Michielsens created a welcoming gate and gardener Sonja Collinet painted a sign.

Meanwhile a few kilometres away in the small community of Arkona, something similar was happening. Shawn Young, an Operator with CH2MHILL, the water and wastewater management contractor for the Municipality of Lambton Shores, was inspired by the expanse of lawn surrounding the wastewater treatment plan. “I thought about how much grass we cut here,” says Young. “I wondered if there was something else we could do with the space that would enhance the community, get people involved and have a bit of fun.” With support from the municipality, which provided compost and mulch, sweat equity from CH2MHILL employees, and seeds donated by the local Home Hardware, a 20’ by 40’ garden took shape.

Elsewhere in the municipality other community gardens flourished. The people of Thedford Knox Presbyterian Church established their garden in 2009, also producing veggies for the local food banks. North Lambton Community Health Centre replaced flower gardens with vegetables at its Forest and Kettle Point sites. Produce was used by the Centre’s dietitian in nutrition programs for youth and young mothers, and for a local Community Kitchen. In 2012, the Centre also participated in the One Tomato Project, designed to encourage youth to volunteer in their communities. Communities in Bloom co-Chair Catherine Minielly and her husband Jim experimented with raised beds at their Forest home, a pilot project intended to expand throughout the community in 2013.

It was a wonderful year for growing vegetables, with lots of sunshine and warmth. By the time the CiB judges arrived in Lambton Shores, the community gardens were bursting. A group of gardeners gathered at the Grand Bend site to greet the judges, beaming with pride. With minimal maintenance the garden in Arkona produced more than 500 pounds of produce for the Forest Food Bank. “We had a great time,” says Michielsens, “and everybody was thrilled with the results.” Both Young and Michielsens have plans to expand the gardens in 2013, and other community gardens are also gearing up for another growing season.

Community gardeners are springing up across Canada. When asked what makes the Grand Bend garden unique, Michielsens answers simply: “It’s ours. We got our hands dirty building it, and we harvested the vegetables. That’s a great feeling.”


Posted by on Sep 18, 2012 in Grant stories | Comments Off on BIGBunch


Your donations make a real difference to children in your community.

As the Executive director of the Grand Bend Community Foundation I had the opportunity to see for myself what a difference well spent grant dollars can make to some of the youth in our community.

In late 2011 we made a grant to the South Huron Big Brother Big Sisters (SHBBBS)  BIGBunch Program. Amy Willhelm the Casework Coordinator invited me to come out a have a look at our grant dollars at work.

BIGBunch offers a setting for children to have fun, increase their self-esteem and learn new skills within a positive environment.


The BIGBunch Program was introduced by Big Brothers Big Sisters to provide service to the children on the Waiting list. Unfortunately the number on the waiting list continue to increase in number.

My visit was on pizza and game night. It was amazing to see the cooperation and joint effort that went into the preparation of ceasar salad, the slicing and dicing of onions, pepperoni, green peppers, pineapple and pretty much anything you can think of that would go on about 30 personal size pizzas.

Everyone of the kids was involved in the prep and then the final stage of adding their choices to their pizza.  I took loving care preparing my own pizza with the lots of helpful advice from the kids on what should be included as toppings. I have to say it looked great as it went in the oven.

As I’m sure you can imagine trying to figure which  pizza belongs where when they come out of the oven is a pretty daunting task, but everyone seemed happy with the results, even if you didn’t quite get the pizza you created.

After a good meal it was onto the board games, again everyone participated and worked within the the BIGBunch rules.

It was an amazing evening with a dedicated group of volunteers and some well behaved children in a fun environment.

Thanks for inviting me Amy and a BIG thanks to all the volunteers and kids for making me feel so welcome.  It is great to see our grant dollars being used so effectively for such a worthwhile cause.



Charity Profile

South Huron Big Brothers Big Sisters

The Impact of Mentoring Programs

A Mentor can make a real and measurable difference to a child. A consistent relationship with an adult can instill in a child the notion that he/she is worthy and valued. Where this type of relationship is absent, the friendship of a volunteer with our agency provides a role model for a child who is missing the positive influence of an adult in his or her life. Simply going for a walk, a hike or working in a garden offers the child a beneficial alternative to boredom and loneliness.

Mentoring can foster resilience in children. This is the quality that allows children to overcome hardship and adversity, which can pave the way for development into healthy, productive adults.

Studies of Big Brothers and Big Sisters programs have found:

  • Little Brothers and Sisters were 46% less likely to initiate drug use.
  • Little Brothers and Sisters were found to be 27% less likely to hit someone.
  • Little Brothers and Sisters were 52% less likely to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip a class at school.
  • Little Brother’s and Sisters go on to graduate from high school at a rate of 20% higher than the national average.
  • A disproportionately high number of former ‘Littles’ graduate from college or university compared to others in their age group.
  • 78% of ‘Littles’ who came from a social assistance background no longer rely on this form of income.
  • Children in the program have been found to enjoy better relationships with their peers and friends, and they feel more emotionally supported and less criticized.
  • Children in the program were found to have better relationships with their parents, and tended to trust the parent more, and lie to the parent less.

The improvement of the quality of life a child through having a Mentor directly impacts the well being of the entire family, and the community as a whole. These children show fewer behavioural difficulties, higher self-esteem, and a high level of resilience.

Volunteer Opportunities to fit your time and interests – YOU can make the Difference!

You’ve probably come across many mentors in your lifetime. Parents may be the immediate mentors that come to mind, followed by other relatives, or even teachers. For some children,  mentors are hard to come by.  Their home life may not be stable. They may be introverted and not make friends easily. They may not have had the opportunity to experience life outside of their community or hometown. These are the children who can benefit from a helping hand.

Becoming a mentor is a rewarding experience and is easier than you might think. It doesn’t require a fancy degree, a certain economic and social background or any expertise. The only requirement is the ability to devote some time to a child or teenager who could use support.

There are currently 12 Little Brothers, 5 Little Sisters and 15 In School Mentees waiting to be matched with a Big in our community

Be a Big Brother or a Big Sister

Be a Big Brother or Big Sister and share a few hours per week, to have some fun and a Big impact on the life of a child!

Be an In School Mentor

If your time is limited, consider one hour per week through our In-School Mentoring program. A ‘Little’ time will go a long way!

Be a BIGBunch Volunteer

Volunteer with BIGBunch and share the fun! A short term commitment within a small group setting,  designed for the children on our waiting list, this friendship program runs twice a month throughout the year.

Be a Little

Littles come from single and dual parent families, children in foster care placements and children living with their grandparents. Children are between the ages of 6 and 16 and are in need of a friend, role model and mentor.

Service Area

Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Huron provides service to Bayfield, Varna, Brucefield, Kippen, St. Joseph, Zurich, Hensall, Grand Bend, Dashwood, Exeter, Crediton, Woodham, Kirkton, Shipka, Huron Park, Mount Carmel, Centralia, Whalen Corners, Parkhill, Ailsa Craig, Lucan and surrounding areas. Applications are accepted from single, dual and foster parent families for children in need of our service.

Thank YOU!

We are extremely grateful to our community volunteers and to our financial supporters. Their time, commitment, and financial aid ensure that our mentoring programs from children continue to Make a Difference!

To Contact SHBBBS or for more information Click here.