What is the Brian Todd Memorial Community Fund?
The Brian Todd Memorial Community Fund supports community organizations which, through their initiatives and actions, seek to:
- Improve health and wellness for Brighton residents
- Develop community assets that enhance recreation, safety, accessibility, and the local environment
Supported projects include:
- Walking trails
- Park equipment
- Respite/ Hospice support
- Accessibility upgrades
- Downtown revitalization
- Food security programs
- Medical equipment/ Physician recruitment
- Environmental projects
- Youth sports & recreational programs
In 2002, a small group of Brighton residents, led by the late Brian Todd, developed a preliminary business plan which, if successful, would see the creation of a health facility in the former Creekside Banquet Hall at 170 Main Street. An application to incorporate as the Brighton Health Services Centre was approved on March 8, 2002, and registered charity status was obtained shortly thereafter. With proceeds from its initial fundraising success, and a loan from the Municipality, the founding BHSC Board of Directors purchased the banquet hall in June, 2002. Through continued fund-raising efforts, the loan to the Municipality was paid in full later that year – the building was owned free and clear within a year of incorporation.
Re-purposing the building into a health centre was costly. By the time the Centre opened its doors in late 2003, more than $1.7 million had been spent to create a medical clinic capable of accommodating five physicians and their staff, a YMCA fitness facility designed to accommodate membership capacity of 900, and an Ontario Early Years Centre suite from which parenting and child support programs for children from infancy to the age of 6 was delivered. .
In 2006, the Brighton Health Services Centre became the site of the very first Family Health Team in Ontario, when the Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty and the Minister of Health, George Smitherman announced the roll-out of this new program from the medical clinic’s waiting room. (The introduction of the FHT model proved to be the incentive needed to attract physicians to Brighton. By mid-2017, six family physicians were practicing from the Centre, serving more than 7,500 Brighton residents.) Full tenancy was achieved with the addition of a satellite office of the South-East Community Care Access Centre in 2004, and the County of Northumberland established a social services hub in the Centre in 2009.
By 2008, ongoing fund-raising totaled close to $2 million, enabling the final payment of the second loan from the Municipality of Brighton to be paid in full. Long-term lease revenue ensured that the Brighton Health Services Centre would be operationally sustainable into the future, with no reliance on fundraising required. To celebrate its debt-free status, and to mark the 5th anniversary of its longest tenant, YMCA Northumberland, the Brighton Health Services Centre Board of Directors awarded an unconditional grant of $10,000 to the YMCA in the fall of 2008.
In 2009, under the chairmanship of Brian Todd, the Community Health Grant Program was officially established. From 2009 to 2019, grants totalling $429,715 have been awarded to more than 40 community organizations to assist them in furthering their own good works projects in the Brighton community. One grant of significance was the $10,000 awarded to East Northumberland Secondary School’s Terry Fox Campaign, as it pushed the school’s cancer fund-raising total over the $1 million mark. This grant was of special significance to the Board members of the BHSC , as it was made in honour of Brian Todd, a former ENSS principal, and he himself a victim of cancer.
In 2011, Brian Todd passed away. In honour of his lifelong community service, the granting program was re-named the Brian Todd Memorial Community Fund. Such recognition will hopefully serve as an incentive to all community organizations that aspire, as Brian did, to improve the quality of life for all Brightonians.
The BHSC Board of Directors continued to volunteer their services to maintain and administer the Brighton Health Services Centre until March , 2017, when ownership of the building was transferred to the Municipality of Brighton. The proceeds of that transfer, together with the surplus funds accumulated from prior years’ operations, created a fund that is now used to continue the awarding of charitable grants to community organizations well into the future.
In August, 2017, the corporate name of the Brighton Health Services Centre was officially changed to the Brian Todd Memorial Community Fund, and its charitable registration was also amended to reflect this change .