Terry James was a consummate community volunteer. Not only was Terry a champion of many important causes – Durham Seniors Games, Civitan, Special Abilities Swim Meets – he was also a magnet attracting others to the world of volunteering. Many who had never volunteered in their communities before were attracted to do so through Terry’s enthusiasm and belief that it was the right thing to do and the right thing for you.
In order to honour Terry’s memory and to create a Durham legacy focused on volunteering our committee decided that the best place to start was with school aged children and teenagers. Youth who experience the benefits of volunteering at an early age are far more likely to go on to be community leaders and volunteers as they grow into adulthood.
Our goal is to create a series of student scholarships awarded on an annual basis to deserving students across the Durham region. Our hope is to recognize individuals in each of the four major cities and their boroughs in Durham – Pickering, Ajax, Whitby and Oshawa.
In addition we would like to recognize both children enrolled in elementary school – when volunteering first has a chance to take hold as well as high school students who are growing and developing as young adults.
We are partnering with the Durham Community Foundation, a well-established, long-standing charitable, non-profit organization who have a significant level of experience in creating bursaries and scholarships. In addition, the Durham Community Foundation is associated with the Toronto Community Foundation ensuring optimal investment power enabling our funds raised to go even further. Our plan is to create an endowment in Terry’s name with the Durham Community Foundation. Proceeds from the tournament and the foundation endowment will be directed back into the community towards the scholarships discussed above.
Volunteering is of critical importance to our communities. Governments can’t supply and support all the needs of our communities – nor should they have to. Volunteering can make a difference for those in needs in our community and it is the responsibility of each of us to contribute where we can. Terry understood the value of volunteering and he taught many of us that lesson. Together we will carry Terry’s message forward to many more through the Terry James “Honour the Volunteer” Golf Tournament.