Raymond Beskau is passionate about helping children and youth reach their full potential through learning and education. “I taught students with special needs for a third of my career, back then we didn’t have the resources to support them. I wanted to change that.”
In 2007, Ray asked Donna Buchan, then Executive Director of Lutherwood Child and Family Foundation how he could help. “I had the great honour of helping Ray achieve his philanthropic goals,” Donna shared. Together, they established the Darcy Fund, an endowment fund that would ensure that youth at Lutherwood had the tools and resources they needed to build a strong foundation for their future. The fund was named in honour of Ray’s late brother, Darcy, who like Ray, valued the importance of education. It was a perfect way to keep his memory alive.
“The staff are always excited to see children and youth benefit from the fund,” Donna shared. Over the years, the fund has helped approximately 100 children and youth at Lutherwood access resources, such as tutoring programs, school supplies, play therapy, computer software and counselling services. 100% of the funds go directly toward enhancing their education, something that Ray is very proud of.
Aside from the Darcy Fund, Ray also gives back to his community by recognizing those who have shown him kindness. Whether it is a cashier, his postal carrier or a bank teller, he will often give to Lutherwood in their honour as his way of saying thank you. “Giving back to my community has been fulfilling and it has given me purpose,” Ray added. Other things that bring him joy include gardening, writing letters and reading novels.
“Over the almost 20 years I have known Ray, I have watched his heart grow in kindness through his charitable giving,” Donna concluded. “For me, Ray epitomizes the quote from Winston Churchill ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’”