Cummings Center

DONOR STORIES

“The Centre has everything from A to Z! Cummings offers a place to learn, live, laugh, and socialize. It is truly a beautiful place. I wanted to find a way to give back while also sharing the light of the Centre with so many others, including my group of friends. It is my honour to be able to provide a comprehensive, stimulating and professional leadership development program for adults who are committed to a strong future for our community and our Centre!Giving feels good! Every dollar counts, and we all have the potential to give back. If you could change someone’s life, I encourage you to do so.”

- Helen Levy, Donor & Founder - The Helen Levy Leadership Development Program at the Cummings Centre

“As a user, I take about 20 classes a year, I see that the Centre is always a buzz with activity. With close to 400 programs being offered, there is something for everyone. You need never be bored or lonely as long as Cummings exists. Everyone who uses the Centre has their needs filled. As our community ages, it is essential that this extraordinary agency continues to be well supported so we can offer these wonderful courses, classes, social services, and events well into the future. We must continue to ensure its continuity. We can all leave a legacy by becoming a Life Governor. Amazing things happen here! I am delighted and privileged to be part of it!”

- Evelyn Bloomfield Schachter

Thanks to Marlene Levenson, this Rosh Hashanah the Centre delivered 100 catered holiday meals to its most vulnerable seniors, their mental health clients. “During this time of the year, ‘THE HIGH HOLIDAYS’, I think it’s especially important to help those in need in our community.”

- Marlene Levenson, Donor

As a Holocaust survivor, our father, Tommy Strasser, strongly believed that the way to counter the absurd is by speaking the truth and it was this belief that drove him to share his story of survival to all those who dared to listen. Although his voice was sadly silenced last year, through The Tommy Strasser Educational Endowment Fund his legacy is able to live on. The Fund is intended to raise awareness of local and international issues that are impacting our daily lives. We are hopeful that this fund, in a little way, will help amplify the voices of those who call out the absurd.

- The Strasser Family

Each year we try to choose a different, special project to support. In early 2021 my Mother passed away from Covid at 95 years old. This tragic event caused us to pause to understand the difficulties that Covid had caused to all seniors. From suffering isolation and physical difficulties, to death, seniors were the most affected group. Wanting to improve the current lives of seniors in a positive way we chose the wonderful work of The Cummings Jewish Center for Seniors as our special project.

- Sandi and Clifford Taite

I consider it a privilege and an obligation to give back to those in our community who are quietly in need. The Mitzvah Meal cards directly benefit the generation whose shoulders we stand on and to whom we owe so much.

– Judy Litvack

My father was really a community guy … he was very socially minded. I gave to the Cummings Foundation because I know that my dad would have loved it. And I know that the Centre means a lot to so many people. I wanted a legacy piece, something that would be around for a long time.

- Michael Latsky, who purchased new treadmills for the Centre to honour his father Norman, CJCS Foundation Past President, who passed away suddenly in 2013.

When I retired, I was looking for something to do and I was happy to connect with some wonderful staff at the Cummings Centre. Many people are very lonely especially as they get older … they lose their spouse, their jobs are over – they have to have something to make them feel good about themselves. People need to belong to something. I knew what they were going through, and I wanted to bring in more. I had a lot of friends and one day I invited a whole bunch of them to a meeting at the Centre. I wanted them to get involved and they did – they became the biggest helpers in the Foundation.

- Bram Besner brought in a group that was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the Governors Program – today the Foundation’s largest annual initiative.

It really thrills me to see what happens after we give a donation. I love it. When we donated to the Virtual Library we had no idea how many seniors would be able to take advantage of it due to Covid. You donate with your heart and then you stay connected. We can always make sure that our seniors are take care of. Cummings is an amazing gem in our city.

- Wendy Albert, who runs the Leonard Albert Family Foundation, pictured with her father Leonard Albert, who created their family foundation.

Not only have I always wanted to change things where necessary, but I always worried about the most vulnerable amongst us.

– Dorothy Reitman, Long Time Donor, Cummings Centre Founder and Foundation Board Member

As we get older, we have different needs, different ideas, sometimes we get a little lost in our thinking … I felt that a mental health program could definitely help a lot of people. “I am really impressed by how the program has been handled and by the participation. You can see that the people in the group are really appreciative to be a part of it. It’s really something special.

– Allan Levitt, Major Donor to Mental Health Program, with his sister Marilyn Yunis through the Rona and Irving Levitt Family Foundation

It made me very sad when I saw people who could not afford to buy their meals. For people not to have money for food is incomprehensible … wonderful people who worked so hard their whole lives. When the pandemic came, it truly tore at me emotionally hearing about seniors who didn’t have enough money for food. My Mom always said, we should always have money for kishkagelt – and that’s what the Foundation is for. It is an honour for George [Balcan] now to have the fund at the Cummings Centre. We’ll just keep feeding the souls … they will always be able to count on us.

– Mackie Balcan in response to creating the George & Mackie Foundation for Feeding the Soul

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