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Family donates $1.26 million to Thunder Bay Community Foundation

The anonymous donation is the largest the Thunder Bay Community Foundation has ever received and pushes its total portfolio to more than $13 million.
Community Foundation Gift
George Badanai, past president and current board member with the Thunder Bay Community Foundation and Alexandra Caldron, executive director, were pleased to receive a $1.26 million gift from a local family. (Photo by Doug Diaczuk -

THUNDER BAY - An anonymous gift to an organization that assists local non-profit projects through grants and bursaries has pushed its fund to a record high.

The Thunder Bay Community Foundation received a $1.26 million gift from a local family who wish to remain anonymous.

“We were floored. We were speechless and we were very grateful for the philanthropy of the family to support the city of Thunder Bay,” said George Badanai, past president of the Thunder Bay Community Foundation and current board member. “It is a family that has been born and raised in the community and want to give back to it.”

The latest gift, which is the largest single donation the foundation has received to date, brings its portfolio to the highest total it has ever been.

“It brings up the total fund of the Thunder Bay Community Foundation to just over $13 million, which is a new milestone,” Badanai said. “We invest those funds and those funds we receive from those investments go out to help the numerous non-profit charities in the city of Thunder Bay. We are very fortunate to have a great deal of philanthropists to support the community.”

The Thunder Bay Community Foundation was established in 1971 and in that time it has distributed nearly $5 million in grants, scholarships, and bursaries.

The Foundation has assisted various community organizations to address issues such as poverty, hunger, homelessness, animal welfare, and youth in need. It has provided grants to Thunder Bay Shelter House, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Roots to Harvest, and Evergreen: A United Neighbourhood.

Badanai said the family who made the donation chose the Thunder Bay Community Foundation because of how funds are pooled and invested, which can then be distributed to numerous non-profit organizations.

“They felt it was a good vehicle to support the community and it is a living legacy fund and it will go on for decades in the future giving back to the city of Thunder Bay,” Badanai said. “They like the function of the foundation and what it does for the community.”

Doug Diaczuk

About the Author: Doug Diaczuk

Doug Diaczuk is a reporter and award-winning author from Thunder Bay. He has a master’s degree in English from Lakehead University
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