Welcome to Durham Community Foundation

Remembering Ruth

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our founder Ruth Lafarga.

Ruth was a trailblazer in education and laid the groundwork for establishing Durham Community Foundation.

While family always came first to Ruth so did her community. She understood the power of establishing permanent financial resources for the region she called home for many decades. These resources ensure the Foundation can continue to provide financial support to our community well beyond all our lifetimes.

The Lafarga Family Legacy Fund is one of the largest family endowment funds at our Foundation. The fund provides unrestricted funding annually to address the most pressing needs in our community as outlined in our recent Vital Signs Report.

An advocate for education, Ruth was also instrumental in establishing the Grace Scholarship Fund for women pursuing a post secondary education at Ontario Tech. Named after Grace Annie Lockhart, the first woman to receive a Bachelor's degree in Canada, the fund was supported by women for women, including Kent Farndale, Bonnie Fraser, Mary Lofthouse, Joan Sanderson, Joan Thornton, and Catharine Tunney.

As the Executive Director at Durham Community Foundation for the past ten years I would be remiss if I did not say how truly active Ruth was with our Foundation. I leaned on her expertise throughout my tenure. Ruth also supported our work financially, especially when we were piloting new programs and services to better support the nonprofit sector in Durham.

Visitation to celebrate Ruth's life will be held on Friday, June 7, 2024, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Mount Lawn Funeral Home in Whitby. The celebration of her life will take place on Saturday, June 8, from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the same location.

We also appreciate that in lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to either the Lafarga Family Legacy Fund or the Grace Scholarship Fund at Durham Community Foundation. Ruth would have loved that.

Ruth Lafarga's legacy as a devoted family member, an educator and community builder will continue to inspire us at the Foundation and those who knew her. Our condolences to her family and dear friends during this difficult time.

Durham's Vital Signs Report 2023

Durham Community Foundation (DCF) has released its inaugural Vital Signs Report, featuring insightful analysis of Durham Region's well-being, spotlighting key areas like housing, health, civic participation, and income.

This report, part of a national initiative by Community Foundations of Canada, portrays a story of growth, emphasizes housing challenges amidst population surges, and delves into pressing health concerns, notably mental health and pandemic-induced strains.

Durham's Vital Signs Report 2023 underscores the importance of community support, urging heightened engagement through volunteering, philanthropy, and civic participation.

Community report

The causes we care about, the time we invest, the people we bring together – all shape our communities now and for future generations
Community Report (PDF)

Start a forever fund

Contribute to your community by donating to an existing forever fund (endowment fund) or by creating a new one tailored to your interests
Endowment funds

Land Acknowlegement

The Michi Saagiig Anishinaabeg inhabited these lands for thousands of years before colonization. Durham Community Foundation respects these lands are the traditional and treaty territories of the Nations covered under the Williams Treaties, including the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, Alderville First Nation, Hiawatha First Nation, Curve Lake First Nation, and the Chippewa Nations of Georgina Island, Beausoleil and Rama.

Durham Community Foundation honours the privilege to live on these lands. We recognize and respect Indigenous Peoples as rights holders and stewards of these lands and waters.

Participating in reconciliation, we commit to continuing to learn from Indigenous values and knowledge, collaborate, and celebrate our human connection. We shall continue to build meaningful relationships and explore new opportunities to support healing and reconciliation with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities in Durham.

Find us

Charity Reg. #: 898797931RR0001
2-157 Harwood Avenue North
Box 250
Ajax, Ontario
L1Z 0B6

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