John Martin was a well-known community member with a strong philanthropic legacy, who knew that financially disadvantaged kids can face many barriers to participating in team sports and extracurricular activities. In 2015, John’s family and friends established the Moustache Fund in his memory, keeping with his long held preference to give quietly, but effectively. One of the fund’s early grants was directed to the Kawartha Youth Orchestra to provide bursaries to young musicians facing financial barriers.
“We recognize that excellence requires opportunities for training and education,” says Helen Ball, President at KYO. “We are now supporting nine musicians who are in financial need, allowing them to participate in this incredible musical experience.” Helen tells us that the impact of the bursaries has been transformational for the young musicians, “two of our bursary recipients graduated in June 2017 and are both in music programs at the University of Toronto and Dalhousie University. We are very proud of them and this would not have been possible without the grant.”
But the organization has been transformed as well. The announcement of the grant from the Moustache Fund struck a chord with an anonymous donor, who was inspired by the impact of the grants on the youth and organization. The donor approached the Community Foundation to establish the Tenuto Trust, an Agency Designated Fund that will make annual grants to the Kawartha Youth Orchestra. From an initial donation of $30,000, the Tenuto Trust will grow and provide a legacy of dependable, long-term support for the orchestra.
Helen sums up the immediate and lasting impact of these quiet and inspiring gifts, saying “we are growing and the KYO is more popular with young musicians and community mentors than ever before. We’re firmly focused on carrying our tradition of orchestral success into the future, and ensuring that the orchestra is accessible to all those young musicians interested in participating.”