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Support in bloom

“April showers bring May flowers.”
BJ Romans recalled this old rhyme as she drove in the Niagara
countryside at the end of a particularly miserable April day a
number of years ago. “Summer is my most favourite season, but
by Spring – it’s almost here,” she recently said when asked about
the name of the fund she established with the Niagara Community
Foundation in 2012. The name the Mayflowers Fund is both about
bringing flowers into other people’s live and ensuring the focus is on
the impact of the fund – rather than the person who created it.
The Mayflowers Fund has broad guidelines for disbursement: for
physical and mental health; wellness programs; education; palliative
care and hospice support. Children and youth are a primary –
but not exclusive – focus. Disadvantaged groups are specifically
identified as possible beneficiaries. “I tried to make the guidelines
broad enough to give the Foundation a lot of latitude in satisfying my
priorities of supporting my community.” BJ says.
BJ Romans has been an integral part of the Niagara Falls community
for more than 40 years. She was originally a Physical Education
teacher in the DSBN. After a stint teaching Family Studies, she found
her true calling working in Student Services. “My life has been
learning that ‘I can’. From those earliest struggles in school, I have
worked to achieve, gained some self confidence and can now strive
to assist others.”
This pragmatic attitude continues. In response to the question ‘How
do you want to be remembered?’ BJ answers: “I don’t need to be
remembered. I need to do what I can while I’m here, but when I’m
gone, I’m gone. Anything I have done stays behind.”
Words to live by, according to BJ: “Live. Love. Laugh. Learn.
And leave a legacy!”

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