The gift that keeps on giving
For Ken and Lolly Pettigrew, it’s not about giving back to their
community, it’s about paying it forward.
The Grimsby couple, who founded the Pettigrew Family Fund in
the Niagara Community Foundation’s Grimsby Community Fund, said
their lives and the lives of their children have been enriched by their
community and they wanted to do what they could to ensure future
families will be similarly blessed.
And taking a leading role was easier – and more affordable – than
they expected. Through decades of involvement in key local charities,
the couple knew about many good causes that need ongoing financial
support, and, to their surprise, they found the initial contribution to
establish a fund – $5,000 – was something they could afford.
“We are just regular people; we don’t consider ourselves
wealthy,” Lolly said. They have since found other ways
to add to their fund since it was established. For
example, when Ken retired from his position as
sexton at Trinity United Church, he asked that
his retirement gift from the congregation be a
contribution to the Pettigrew Fund. It was the
couple’s strategic way of calling attention to what
they saw as an opportunity for many others to
“If folks like us can do this, you can too,” said
Ken. “A coffee a day and you’ve got it covered.”
The contributions to the fund are held in
perpetuity, and the proceeds are given away.
“Long after we are gone, the Pettigrew Family
Fund will continue to give,” Ken said. “And
the money stays in our community, which is
important to us.”
The Pettigrews say their grown children
also really liked the idea, and the children’s
Christmas gift to their parents this year was
another contribution to the fund. That gesture
delighted Ken and Lolly.
Declares Lolly: “It’s a gift that keeps on giving.”