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Funds / Community Funds / Niagara-on-the-Lake Fund

Niagara-on-the-Lake Fund

Current Committee Members 

Chair: Michael Berlis
Members: Nancy Bailey, Ann-Louise Branscombe, Wendy Cheropita, Patrick Darte, Mario Ferrara, Brianne Hawley, Debi Pratt, Shawn Spiewak  


DONATE TO NOTL FUND  | NOTL Holiday Greeting

Our History

2016- The Niagara-on-the-Lake Fund was launched in 2016 under the leadership of Lord Mayor Patrick Darte, who was a founding Director of the Board of the Niagara Community Foundation back in 2000. Darte began the NOTL local community fund, following the example of ten other municipalities in Niagara who had local community funds already established at the time. The original group of volunteers helping to raise awareness of the Niagara-on-the- Lake Community Fund included: Wendy Cheropita (Chair), Lord Mayor Patrick Darte, Ann-Louise Branscombe, Nancy Bailey, Joan King, Leisa Lepp, Debi Pratt, Mario Ferrara, Shawn Spiewak, Mike Berlis, Brianne Hawley & Ken Bridgman.


Niagara-on-the-Lake Fund launch at Queen’s Landing in November 2016. From left, committee members Nancy Brazeau, Wendy Cheropita, Shawn Spiewak, Debi Pratt, Lord Mayor Patrick Darte, Joan King and Ann-Louise Branscombe. Absent: committee members Ken Bridgman, Mario Ferrara, Brianne Hawley, Liesa Lepp. Scott Rosts/Staff Photo

The Niagara on the Lake Fund Committee held a launch event on Thursday, November 10, 2016 at Queen’s Landing. The event was highlighted by the announcement by the Lord Mayor that the Fund has secured $550,000 in pledges so far thanks to a list of generous Founding Donors including: Vintage Hotels (CEO Bob Jackson), Joe Pillitteri & Family, Rainer Hummel & Family, Rick Dritsacos & Family and the Lord Mayor Darte Family Fund.

2017- The Niagara on the Lake Fund Committee continued their individual outreach in the community, participating in community events and continuing to share in the funds successes. 

2018-  The Niagara Community Foundation (NCF) was gifted $460,000 in assets from the Niagara-on-the-Lake Healthcare Foundation, when it closed its doors. In receiving this gift in November 2018 at a reception at Queens Landing, NCF committed to continuing the Healthcare Foundations work of supporting NOTL health care service providers. The gift to NCF was divided into three funds. The first $200,000 went into a non-permanent, spend-down fund, from which NCF will make annual disbursements for 10 years to support health-oriented charities serving Niagara-on-the-Lake. Another $220,000 established a permanent endowment fund to support such charities. And a third block of approximately $30,000 created a permanent endowment fund to benefit the Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care Service. This endowment will have a lasting legacy in Niagara-on-the-Lake's healthcare sector. 


2019- 2019 saw a record number of grants and donations made to Niagara on the Lake charities. Through both donor directed grants as well as through the Niagara Community Foundation's granting program, in 2019, over $65,000 was granted to 14 charities with addresses in Niagara on the Lake. Some examples of the charities supported by the Foundation include: Angels Rest Dog Rescue, Music Niagara, Niagara Regional Native Centre, Niagara Pumphouse Visual Arts Centre, Red Roof Retreat, Pathstone Foundation and many more.

2020- In the first 10 months of 2020, the 35 NOTL fund holders living in our community, along with the NOTL Healthcare Community Foundation Fund and the NOTL Community Fund, have made a historic collective investment of the following:
  • $340,000+ into our local NOTL charitable sector this year,
  • NOTL Healthcare Community Foundation Fund donated $10,000 into the Niagara Health System in response to Covid-19 and,
  • $38,000 was granted to NOTL charities through the Emergency Community Support Fund. ​

Press Releases + News

Click on the links below to read about our work in the community.

Our Stories

The story of philanthropy takes on many different shapes and sizes, however at the heart of every story you find generosity, commitment and a deep love for community. We are pleased to share with you some of these inspiring stories of some of Niagara-on-the-Lake's community leaders and philanthropists.

In the Community

Each year, the NOTL volunteer committee is pleased to attend the annual Joe Pillitteri Comedy Night in support of the Pillitteri Family Fund. Below are a few snap-shots to capture the fun. 










Philanthropy in Action

There are many ways to contribute to the Niagara Community Foundation. Please find more information by following the links below:
  • Join the committe: The Niagara on the Lake fund is open to any and all community members looking to give back to their local community. We meet four times a year with supplimentary working meetings to plan and organize events. To join the NOTL Fund Committee, please contact our Community Fund & Foundation associate Suzanne Veenstra to find out more and to attend our next committee meeting. 
  • Make a one-time donation
  • Become a fund holder
  • Contribute to an existing fund