Tony Relouw gives back – Wednesday, September 6, 2006
Tony Relouw moved to Grand Bend with his family in 1956. Apart from a ten-year stint in nearby Exeter, he has been part of the community ever since.
When Relouw was asked to be a founding member of the Grand Bend Community Foundation in 2000, he accepted readily. “I’m a true believer in the concept.” he says. At the time, he was seriously considering starting a private family foundation, but soon realized it could turn into an administrative nightmare. “I decided that I was better off working through the Community Foundation, so that somebody else would administer the funds, but the money would still go where I wanted it to go.”
In 2002, he made a contribution of $100,000 to create the Relouw Fund within the Grand Bend Community Foundation. The fund is designed to be used in support of youth and education. “I have three children and seven grandchildren.” he explains, “so this is the cause that is nearest and dearest to (the Relouw family) personally.”
To date, the foundation has made three grants from the fund to Our Lady of Mount Carmel School. The funds helped the school build a gazebo and sign, and to purchase books, uniforms and equipment.
“This community has been very good to us, allowing us to be successful.” says Relouw in explaining his generous contribution. “Now we’re fortunate enough to be able to give some money back and do some good with it. If people who are fortunate don’t contribute to the community, good things don’t happen.”
Relouw has confidence that the foundation is the right place to begin building his legacy to the community. “It’s doing a tremendous job,” he says. “A good amount of money has been granted, and the capital has grown too.”
He pauses and then adds, “Of course, there’s room for lots more!”