Hockey Blog In Canada has been proud to present 18 charitable organizations thus far this summer, and I hope that I've provided these great organizations a little added exposure for their causes. They have made a world of difference in their communities, and they continue to make the lives of people in those communities better. Today is no exception as I would like to present an organization started by an NHL GM. The Gainey Foundation was started by Montreal Canadiens' general manager Bob Gainey in honour of Cathy and Laura Gainey, and this organization deserves a closer look for the work they are doing in Montreal, Quebec.
Mission Statement: From their website, "the Gainey Foundation is committed to supporting charitable organizations that offer environmental and arts education programs for youth". The Gainey Foundation is committed to helping teens and children achieve their dreams through funding of programs that follow the interests of Cathy and Laura Gainey. The funds raised allow children to grow creatively and intellectually through these programs.
How Did The Gainey Foundation Start?: The foundation was established on May 2, 2007 to honour two women who were second-to-none in the Gainey household: Cathy Gainey, Bob's wife and mother to his four children, who passed away in 1995 at the age of 39 after a five-year battle against cancer; and Laura Gainey, Bob's daughter, who, at the age of 25, was swept overboard by a wave during a storm from the Picton Castle, the tall ship she was employed on. Her body was never found.
Despite the tragedies that the Gainey family has faced, they have persevered to start the Gainey Foundation in order to help others. The family has stated that the work being done by the foundation has brought them closer together through the healing process.
"Over the past few months, we have received overwhelming support from across Canada, the United States and beyond," Mr. Gainey stated during the press conference announcing the formation of the foundation. "We know that many other families went through significant tragedies and struggles, and that many do not have the support and network that we are fortunate to benefit from. We hope that with the resources at our disposal, we can help."
The goal of the Gainey Foundation was to raise $2 million for a number of initiatives, including art therapy, environmental causes and underprivileged children. As of August 29, 2008, the foundation had raised nearly $1 million of their goal, and looks to increase their efforts this year. Gainey's three children - Anna, Stephen, and Colleen - have been instrumental in raising the majority of funds along with the help of friends and family.
Anna Gainey, director of the foundation, stated that the "idealism" of her sister will allow her presence to love on through the grants that will begin to be awarded starting this month. Laura was active in the community, teaching young people how to paint near their summer home in Peterborough, Ontario.
"This is our way to help continue some of the work that she would have done had she been able to, whether it was helping a young person to paint or promote ways to conserve water," Anna said to The Sudbury Star.
The Gainey Foundation has also received help in achieving their goal. Dawson College's "Blue Ring",the honour society of students at Dawson College, selected the Gainey Foundation as the beneficiary of this year's Artists in Bloom event. April 24, 2008 saw 25 gifted students create art pieces live in front of an audience before the art was auctioned off. You can read more about the event from Dawson College's May newsletter.
June 26, 2008 saw a number of musicians come together to help raise $155,000 for the foundation. Great Big Sea, Sam Roberts, Michel Rivard, Nikki Yanofsky, Charlypop, Sara Johnston, Shane Murphy and Kris Newby rocked Metropolis for one night, and helped the foundation add a big chunk of money for their causes.
As of right now, there are approximately 80 applicants who have applied for grants through the Gainey Foundation, and it is expected that the foundation will begin awarding grants to successful candidates in mid-September.
"We were pleased to receive as many applications as we did, and it's taking us a bit longer than we'd expected to go through them," Anna Gainey said. If you've applied, please be patient as the foundation does their best to get through all the applications.
How Can I Help?: Just like all the other charitable organizations I have examined, you can certainly donate to their cause. You can donate via PayPal if you'd like to use your credit card or online funds, or you can send your donation via snail mail to the following address:
1260 rue de la Gauchetiere West
If you'd like to organize an event to help the Gainey Foundation raise funds, there is an online form that you need to fill out. Please note that the foundation would like this form to them eight weeks in advance of the event so that they can be organized and onboard with the event.
If you would like to apply for a grant from the Gainey Foundation, please click here to read the grant allocation guidelines. Anyone from across Canada can apply, providing they meet the standards set out by the guidelines. A list of qualified donees can be found here.
Finally, if you'd like to contact the Gainey Foundation, you can email them at info-at-gaineyfoundation-dot-com. You can also call them at (514) 989-2804 if you prefer the telephone option. And, of course, the old snail mail option works too. Please send your letters to the address above.
For more information regarding the Gainey family, please click here to read an excellent piece written by Roy MacGregor for the Globe and Mail. It really gives you an idea of what this family went through, and the struggles that tried to pull them apart.
The Gainey Foundation, the NHLPA, and the foundation's namesake family - Bob, Anna, Stephen, and Colleen Gainey - are helping the communities they live in. It's time for us to help them as well.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!