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Empower Simcoe Foundation

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.

Empower Simcoe Foundation
Children Smiling | SCS Foundation | Simcoe Community Services

Why Give?

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.

How Can You Help?

Empower Simcoe Foundation

$18,585 raised

Goal: $30,000

You can make a difference by donating to our Mobility Fund. We have a goal to raise $30,000 to improve the quality of life for people who live in Empower Simcoe’s supported living homes. The fund helps pay for critical housing and transportation improvements such as new wheelchairs, lifts, grab bars and more. With your help, we can reach our goal.

Click on the button below to donate to our Mobility Fund, or choose from several other fund categories to select the area of need that is closest to your heart. Thank you!

Empower Simcoe Donate


Whether it’s $25 or $250, every dollar helps. $25 can provide one hour of respite care for a family, while $100 can pay for an inclusion worker so a child or youth with special needs can attend a recreation program. Or consider our Monthly Giving program – your ongoing donation can be set at any level you wish, and will make an impact from month to month for as long as you choose.

Volunteer with Empower Simcoe


We are always looking for volunteers to help with fundraising initiatives like our Empower Simcoe Foundation Bingo. Check out our volunteer page for more details.

Empower Simcoe Sponsors


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our 2020 Golf Tournament was cancelled, and our Celebrating Community Champions Fashion Show will be going virtual. The Celebrating Community Champions Virtual Giving Event will showcase the achievements and abilities of people supported by Empower Simcoe while raising money for a good cause. Contact us for more details about our signature events.

Plan an event with Empower Simcoe


Maybe it’s a sports event, a dance, or something fun with your business. Why not consider making it a fundraiser for Empower Simcoe? The Empower Simcoe Foundation is happy to help guide you in the planning of your event. Begin your planning with our handy Community Fundraising Guide.

contact us


Get in touch to find out how you can sponsor one of our events, plan your own event, or make a special donation.

Empower Simcoe Foundation Donor Success Stories

Thank you to our valued community partners for their support of the Empower Simcoe Foundation

Maycourt Club of Barrie Empower Simcoe
Maycourt Club of Barrie
Boston Pizza Barrie Empower Simcoe
Boston Pizza Barrie
Wild Wing Barrie Empower Simcoe
Wild Wing Barrie

Empower Simcoe Foundation Board of Trustees

Michael Hesson

Michael Hesson

Michael was born in Hamilton, and graduated from the Police Foundations Program at Mohawk College. In 2004, he was hired by the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service and was stationed in Fort Severn First Nation. After two years, Michael was transferred back to Southern Ontario and now resides in Barrie. Michael is also a member of the Rotary Club of Barrie-Huronia.

Victoria Ptasiuk

Victoria Ptasiuk
Vice President

Victoria has spent the last decade working at RBC in Simcoe County, most recently in Business Banking. Involved with many volunteer programs, Victoria enjoys being connected to her community. She lives in Barrie with her husband and three children, who can often be seen volunteering alongside her.

Visit Victoria's LinkedIn Profile

Randy Craig

Randy Craig

Randy is a retired police 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.

Visit Randy's LinkedIn Profile

Karl Cadera

Karl Cadera

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.

Ron Ptasiuk

Ron Ptasiuk

Ron has over 30 years of experience in the investment industry and currently is an Investment Advisor with RBC Wealth Management. You can regularly see Ron hosting the current affair show, Viewpoint on Rogers TV. As past President of the Simcoe Community Services Foundation, Ron is dedicated to promoting inclusion in the community for people of all abilities.

Valerie Scott

Valerie Scott

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.

Visit Valerie's LinkedIn Profile

Sherry Smith-Ross

Sherry Smith-Ross

Sherry has 28 years of experience with the Ministry of Education. A graduate of Georgian College’s graphic design program, she is the Website Design Lead at the Education Quality and Accountability Office. Sherry volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters, North Simcoe, and Tiny Township’s Lions Club. A photographer and animal lover, she enjoys cooking and time with her family.

Miriam Villamil-Pallister

Miriam Villamil-Pallister

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.

Visit Miriam's LinkedIn Profile

Foundation Board of Directors - Empower Simcoe

Claudine Cousins, CEO & Secretary to the Board

Empower Simcoe Foundation

Doug Cleverley, Donor Relations Coordinator

39 Fraser Court, Barrie ON L4N 5J5
705-726-9082 ext. 2285