News and updates News release

RTOERO awards $85,000 in grants to boost community projects

Grassroots projects make communities better. Now, 22 of them in Ontario and B.C. have received funding thanks to RTOERO’s annual community grants campaign.

Since 1968, RTOERO has been a voice for teachers, school and board administrators, educational support staff and college and university faculty in their retirement. Our mission is to improve the lives of our members and seniors.

In each RTOERO district, members take on many volunteer and advocacy roles. Districts can also apply for community grants that support a local program.

“We encourage all RTOERO districts to support and partner with local organizations that are making a real difference on key issues. The projects we back support seniors and children, and advance issues like environmental sustainability, healthy and active living, equity and community connections,” says Martha Foster, chair of the board at RTOERO.

Each year, a committee of RTOERO members assesses the merits of each grants submission. This year’s community grants total $85,270. Since the inception of the program 23 years ago, RTOERO has donated almost $2 million to 550 programs and projects.

“In their careers and in retirement, RTOERO members have been dedicated to service, and the community grants program is another way to put that into action,” says Foster.

The full list of the 2023 community grants:

  • Huron-Perth: $4,000 to help the Goderich Lions Club buy grocery gift cards for Ukrainian immigrants.
  • Waterloo Region: $4,000 for the Clay & Glass Gallery in Waterloo to engage more community members aged 55-plus with the Gather at the Gallery program.
  • Hamilton-Wentworth & Haldimand: $4,000 for McMaster University’s Physical Activity Centre of Excellence program, towards the purchase automated blood pressure and blood oxygen saturation machines that supports safe exercise for older adults with hypertension.
  • Halton: $1,268 to create a little free library in a rural Acton neighbourhood and support participation in the Deer Run Book and Social Club.
  • Etobicoke and York: $4,000 to support the health and wellness classes in the adult day programs offered by ESS Support Services (formerly known as Etobicoke Services for Seniors).
  • North York: $4,000 for equipment and supplies for two community choirs –  the North York Choralairs and the McConaghy Senior Choir in Richmond Hill.
  • Scarborough & East York: $4,000 to add a bench to a Scarborough trail, to create a place to rest and relax, and encourage those concerned about their stamina to go out and take a walk.
  • Kenora: $4,000 for a specialized bed to assist with the reopening of the Dr. Jim Beveridge Kenora Community Hospice.
  • Northumberland: $4,000 to help the YMCA Northumberland deliver a monthly Breaking Bread program in Cobourg, offered free to anyone aged 55-plus.
  • Wellington: $4,000 for Storytime Trail, an initiative of the OneWorld Schoolhouse Foundation, to add to interactive outdoor book walks in Guelph.
  • York Region: $4,000 to improve the stage lighting and safety lighting at the BackStage space of the Markham Little Theatre.
  • Peterborough: $4,000 for the Mapleridge Recreation Centre, which focuses on serving adults aged 50-plus, for laptops to help run their trivia night.
  • Oxford: $4,000 for the Sweaburg & District Lions Club to help make the Trillium Woods Trail (south of Woodstock and west of Sweaburg) more accessible.
  • Mainland British Columbia: $4,000 to help Century House in New Westminster offer workshops on aging in place.
  • Nipissing: $4,000 to help the Gateway Theatre Guild in North Bay offer a series of casual play readings with seniors.
  • Vancouver Island: $4,000 to the Indigenous Education Department of the Greater Victoria School District No. 61 to purchase books about environmental stewardship as practised by Indigenous peoples.
  • Leeds and Grenville: $4,000 to support the Sunday Suppers program in Brockville, which every week serves nutritious meals to those in need.

RTOERO is a bilingual trusted voice on healthy, active living in the retirement journey for the broader education community. With 84,000+ members in 51 districts across Canada, we are the largest national provider of non-profit group health benefits for education retirees. We welcome members who work in or are retired from the early years, schools and school boards, post-secondary and any other capacity in education. We believe in a better future, together!