Celebrating a loved one through a gift to The Foundation

Photo: Craig and Judy Hamblin, Jena and baby Scarlett Richardson, and Samantha Hamblin, 2018.


Almost immediately, gifts to The Foundation were seen as a way to pay tribute to a loved one.

The Foundation’s first Memorial Fund was established in 1925 in memory of Percy Travers Cox. The fund was started by members of the Boy Scout Troop led by Lieutenant Percy Travers Cox, who was killed in action during the First World War, in September 1918. The fund was seeded by proceeds of the sale of Boy Scout equipment owned by the 19th Winnipeg Troop Boy Scouts at the time of its disbandment. The equipment was sold for $245.24, and the proceeds support The Foundation’s Community Fund.

For those who did not want to establish a fund of their own but were looking for a place where gifts could be directed, back in 1935 The Foundation established a “Flower Fund.” Following the lead of American community foundations, the fund was a way to memorialize a deceased friend or relative in lieu of a wreath or flowers. In order to eliminate direct competition with local florists, the fund was renamed the “In Memoriam Fund.”

Today, memorial and tribute gifts continue to be a meaningful way to celebrate or remember a loved one, as the Hamblins did when they lost their son Cole to an aggressive cancer. Craig and Judy Hamblin, and their daughters Sam and Jena, are ensuring Cole’s legacy is never forgotten. They’ve created a memorial scholarship in his name.

Cole loved hockey and played whenever he could, in the street, on the ice, in all seasons; if there was a game, he’d find it! When away playing hockey at Guelph University in 2014, Cole complained of a sore back. He was diagnosed with mucoepidermoid carcinoma and passed away just six weeks after his diagnosis, at age 21.

Hockey player on the rink
Cole Hamblin Credit: Courtesy of the Hamblin family.

The Cole Hamblin Memorial Scholarship is for young hockey players in the Eastman Minor Hockey Association, where Cole played growing up. The award is given to a player who embodies the traits that made Cole such a beloved friend and teammate: positive attitude, sportsmanship, and most of all, a love and respect for the game of hockey.

Memorial and Tribute Funds honour all sorts of people and occasions. Many are established to honour a personal milestone or achievement while living or, like the Cole Hamblin Memorial Scholarship, are established to honour the memory of someone. The Winnipeg Foundation can support individual plans by creating a temporary fund to accept gifts while the family considers how best to acknowledge or remember a loved one; by establishing a permanent endowment fund at The Foundation, by contributing to an already existing fund, or by making a one-time grant to a favourite charity.

“Because his love and passion for hockey will live on through supporting others’ dreams.”

The Hamblin Family, quoted in 2018.

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