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Local Students Receive Generous Family Legacy Scholarship Awards

Margaret Cunningham, Foundation Coordinator

KAWARTHA LAKES: Three local philanthropists, Chris Handley, Mike Perry, and Phong Tan, have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to ensuring access to quality education, by establishing awards and scholarships for local elementary and high school students pursuing post-secondary education. These generous gifts have been made possible through their Family Legacy Funds, established in collaboration with the Community Foundation of Kawartha Lakes.

By setting up Family Legacy Funds, commonly known as Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) within the Community Foundation, Misters Handley, Perry, and Tan have found a charitable avenue for ongoing giving, and opened doors for prudent wealth management and tax deductions. This strategic approach allows them to make meaningful contributions to the education sector while maximizing the impact of their generosity.

All three of these generous fundholders offer awards and scholarships to elementary and high school students, with the support of local school principals, teachers and nearby colleges and universities. The generosity demonstrated serves as a powerful inspiration, urging others to join in their efforts to uplift and empower the next generation. By investing in the education of deserving students, they are igniting a ripple effect of positive change which will extend far beyond the individual recipients, creating a stronger and more prosperous community.


For four generations, Handley Lumber and Building Supplies, in Fenelon Falls, have been serving the needs of contractors, do-it-yourselfers and customers. Now the current owner, Chris Handley, proudly runs this well-known successful family operation. In honour of his great-grandfather's legacy and their success in the lumber industry, since the 1930s, the Handley Memorial Fund has been set up. Since 2021, this Fund has supported a variety of local endeavours, including The Grove Theatre and scholarship programs to the University of Toronto Nursing and Fleming College.

Motivated by family, their very own Lulu Johnston Memorial Scholarship, at the U of T Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, honours Chris' late maternal grandmother, Lulu Jesse (Nesbitt) Johnston. This financial scholarship helps students from rural communities seek a career in nursing.

In Chris' own words, "Lulu Johnston was accepted into a practical nursing program, in a hospital in Lindsay, but due to the constraints on the family farm, she was not able to pursue her dream. In her honour, we want to recognize the challenges faced then, in studying nursing in a rural community. This scholarship, in her name, will allow others to follow their dream while supporting health care in rural communities."

In honour of the life of his grandfather, Ray Handley, the Ray Handley Memorial Award, at Fleming College, offers a $4,000 scholarship to an accomplished graduate by application from any of the Kawartha Lakes secondary schools which are currently enrolled in the Business, Forestry or the Urban Forestry Technician programs.

As an award-winning student at U of T, Chris Handley fully understands the benefit of financial support during one's academic career. Being able to pursue a graduate education is fundamental to his success today. Now, he is proud to pay it forward by honouring the legacy of his great-grandfather. Recipients of the scholarship are students who have either had experience in rural health settings or are determined and eager to contribute to rural health care in the future.

“If we're willing to recognize students with rural backgrounds or those with a passion for providing health care in rural areas, I hope that also means we will be able to support those rural communities with the best and brightest coming out of these amazing schools,” stated Chris Handley


With great honour, Mike Perry, past president of the Community Foundation and now City Councillor, has established the Doug & Mary Perry Higher Education Fund. In memory of his loving parents, Mike launched this Fund in 2020, intended to provide financial support and encouragement to graduates from the Fenelon Falls Secondary School (FFSS), interested in a career in teaching.

Doug and Mary Perry had strong beliefs in the power of public education to enable and inspire people and build communities. A graduate of Fenelon Falls Secondary School, Mary devoted her career to teaching.

The intent of this scholarship is to enable graduates to aim for post-secondary education in the field of teaching and education. This generous legacy grows and compounds over time, offering annual awards to young and aspiring teachers and educators in Fenelon Falls. Mike is grateful for his parents, who instilled in him the value and joy of education and is happy they will be remembered for helping students from FFSS continue learning.

"My mom and dad would be well-pleased, continuing to help local students. The Community Foundation is great to work with, offering unique ways for donors to make the difference they want," shared Mike Perry


Phong Tan, owner-manager of PharmaSave in Fenelon Falls and his family set up the Mai & Chuong Tan Fund, in honour of their amazing parents. As hardworking Canadians, Mai and Chuong Tan value the importance of perseverance and commitment to family and community. Forever grateful to them for inspiring confidence in their children, encouraging the pursuit of excellence, and gently stressing that when things get tough, this is the time to stand up and shine. Most importantly, they demonstrated, the greatest strength is found when we help one another become stronger.

Educational scholarships have been presented annually, since 2021, to graduating students from both Fenelon Falls Secondary School and Langton Public School. Successful candidates must show resilience to consistently excel, in their studies and extracurricular activities and show deserving qualities – passion, confidence, compassion, enthusiasm, leadership, analytical skills and foresight.

"Resilience, persistence, and a lot of effort are the secret ingredients," saidPhong Tan

The Community Foundation of Kawartha Lakes is dedicated to making a positive impact in Kawartha Lakes, by connecting generous donors with local initiatives and organizations which make a tangible difference in the lives of individuals and families in Kawartha Lakes. This is achieved by raising and managing funds and attracting legacy gifts and endowment funds, all to encourage people to 'give where they live.'

We invite you to consider us in your legacy plans or as a recipient of your business's community giving plans. By making a charitable donation, including the Community Foundation in your will, donating appreciated securities, or designating the Community Foundation as a beneficiary to a life insurance policy, you ensure your contribution will have a direct and lasting impact on Kawartha Lakes.

We would be delighted to speak with you regarding the Community Foundation and address any questions you may have. Contact Laurie Dillon-Schalk, Executive Director or email: For Foundation information, click on or visit

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1 comentario

Adam Wandler
Adam Wandler
9 hours ago

Many taxpayers overlook eligible expenses that can be deducted. For instance, certain medical expenses, charitable contributions, and even home office costs can be deductible. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the IRS guidelines or consult with Tax Consultant Prince George to understand what expenses qualify.

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