We raise funds to improve the quality of life for people of all abilities and to foster an inclusive society.
The Empower Simcoe Foundation is a registered charity established in 1998 that directly supports the activities of Empower Simcoe. Funds raised by the Foundation support people with intellectual disabilities and their families. We also raise funds for special projects which respond to community needs and further our mission to enhance the quality of all lives – such as the Lakeshore Ridge Capital Campaign.
Many people with intellectual disabilities are living at or below the poverty line and barely have enough money to cover rent, food and basic health expenses. This means recreational activities and specialized equipment that would contribute to a better quality of life are simply out of reach.
With the support of many generous donors, our fundraising campaigns support the purchase of accessibility equipment; cover the cost of specialized housing needs; assist families with respite; provide youth with skills development; offer adults and seniors recreational and leisure activities.
Your donation helps make it possible for people of all abilities to live a meaningful and inclusive life.
Big Thanks also to the service clubs, private foundations, businesses, and friends whose donations to the Empower Simcoe Foundation have helped make life better for so many people. Please see our Annual Report for a full list of donors and supporters.
Randy is a retired police officer of 30 years. He has extensive experience working with individuals with special needs and is currently employed as an investment advisor with Edward Jones in Barrie. He obtained his MBA from Edinburgh University in Scotland and is a Chartered Investment Manager. He has three children and lives in the city of Barrie.
Karl is a retired educator and has been active for over forty years through the St. Vincent Depaul Society. Karl is a Scout Master, has been a coach for the Barrie Integrated Baseball Association and is a past board member of the United Way and C.L.A.S.S. He is a proud grandfather of three and member of the Kiwanis Club of Barrie.
Valerie is a sales rep for a food company based out of Toronto. She also hosts a television cooking show in Orillia called Sunshine City Chefs. As well as being a valued volunteer with Simcoe Community Services, Valerie also belongs to The Rotary Club of Barrie-Huronia. Valerie is a Severn Bridge resident who enjoys cooking, cross-country skiing and traveling the world.
Roch is an Assurance and Business Advisory Manager for a public accounting firm. He provides accounting and advisory services to his clients within Simcoe County and the GTA. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Nipissing University. Roch lives in Barrie with his wife and is soon to be a proud father of two.
Mike is a Real Estate Professional, proudly serving Sellers and Buyers in the Barrie, Orillia, Oro-Medonte and Muskoka regions. He’s a former white water kayaking national team member, international touring musician and father of two daughters. Mike also served on the Lakelands Association of Realtors Board of Directors for many years, and as its President in 2017.
Miriam is an Assistant Crown Attorney with the Barrie Crown Attorney’s office. She received her Bachelors of Arts (Honours) from the University of Windsor where she also obtained a Juris Doctor. Miriam was called to the Ontario Bar in 2011. She is passionate about advocating for those with intellectual disabilities. She lives in Simcoe County with her husband and two daughters.
Dr. Mitch Whyne has been caring for patients in Simcoe County for more than thirty years. Currently, Mitch is an Emergency Room Physician at Royal Victoria Hospital. He is a father to three boys and is actively involved in coaching with Special Olympics. Mitch has been a member of Empower Simcoe for more than 25 years.