By Heather Fraser
Philanthropy is a word that is not in everyone's vocabulary, especially with those who are of a younger generation.
I admit that if someone had asked me what it meant to be philanthropic before I turned 20 I probably wouldn't have been able to give them an answer.
Today, however, I'm happy to say that people in this community have not only taught me what it means to be philanthropic, but also the importance of the meaning.
In my present role, in fact, I have had the privilege of witnessing the generosity of the residents in our region supporting many important projects for our community.
The Central Nova Scotia Civic Centre will be a pillar that will serve our community for generations. Many instrumental people have come together to make the dream of a new recreation and wellness centre a reality and will continue to support the project until the doors open in December.
It's great to have a dream, but we also must have a way to bring our dreams to reality. A major stepping stone in a vision such as the new centre is the financial bottom line.
The Ignite the Spirit Campaign was formed to raise the community's portion of $5 million and as with all important community projects many people have stepped up to ensure our community continues to grow and prosper. Yes, philanthropy is truly alive in our region.
A part of being sincerely philanthropic is the spirit in which the gift is given. The campaign team has been heartened by the response received by so many in our community. As part of the Ignite the Spirit Campaign, a fund was created with this generous spirit in mind called the Friends of David Gilroy Fund.
The fund was set up in memory of David Gilroy who passed away in 2008 after a brief illness and who, in his own right, was also a pillar of our community.
Many donations have been made to the fund and because of this generosity the centre's main atrium will be named in memory of Gilroy, a man who is remembered by family and friends in part because of his desire for a civic centre for the community.
Gilroy retired in 2001 as chief administrative officer after 38 years with the Town of Truro and was well-known for his love of sports and of his love of Truro. He was a Boston Red Sox fan, but even closer to home he was a founding partner of the Truro Junior B Bearcats in the 1968.
Gilroy was also an avid horseman and served as the treasurer of the Truro Centurions Swim Club for many years and as president of the Truro Golf Club.
"David was a real people person," said Tom Stanfield, friend and also a founding partner in the Bearcats organization. "He knew virtually everybody and he would always take the time to talk to you, listen to you and offer a little advice along the way.
"David enjoyed people and he very much enjoyed life in general. He really made a difference in a lot of people's lives."
Many people remember Gilroy for his love of sports but also because he believed in the importance of giving back to the community.
I think that if he were here today to see his dream of a civic centre for the community coming to reality he would be the first to step up and show his support.
When the doors to the centre open and we walk through the main atrium we will remember David Gilroy, but we will also realize that the spirit of philanthropy is strong in our community. We will recognize and thank those who have supported and assisted in providing this opportunity for our community, which will be enjoyed for many years.
Funds continue to be accepted for the Friends of David Gilroy Fund through the Ignite the Spirit Campaign.
I encourage you to step up and support this important project so that you are able to say that you had a hand in making Gilroy's dream for our community, as well as the dream of many others, come true.
To give a gift to the campaign, contact our campaign office at (902) 893-9706 or to donate online, visit the campaign website www.ignitethespirit.ca.
Heather Fraser is the fundraising/public relations assistant for the Central Nova Scotia Civic Centre campaign. Her column appears monthly in the Truro Daily News.