Each year thousands of Canadians designate a portion of their assets to charities by making a bequest in their Will or transferring assets while they are alive. Harry Lawson has included March of Dimes Canada in his estate planning, and recently made a significant personal donation to support our programs that enhance independence for Canadians living with disabilities.
Harry became involved with March of Dimes over 30 years ago when he became a volunteer Fundraising Chair. He quickly became a Board Member and was the Chair from 1988-1990, after which he served as Past Chair.
In the early 1980s, Andria Spindel, President and CEO of March of Dimes Canada, spoke at the local Rotary Club which had just been formed in the Don Valley area (near March of Dimes’ head office), and was able to secure Mr. Lawson and a number of Rotary members as volunteers. He remained a very active volunteer until he and his wife, Vivian, retired to Florida where they now live for half the year.
Harry became a passionate and dedicated volunteer because he saw how the work of March of Dimes Canada applies to everybody. In an interview with Andria Spindel, he spoke of what he learned from people like Rick Hansen, that most people are only temporarily able-bodied for as we age we all lose aspects of physical function, or develop a serious disability. With increased age, many more people require March of Dimes’ services.
Harry Lawson’s philanthropic spirit came early, as a result of his impoverished childhood.
“I came from nothing. My father was 28 years older than my mother, and they were dirt poor. My goal was to get out of school and work to help pay the bills,” says Harry.
“My mother worked as a domestic and she was a songstress. My father played in the Salvation Army band and they met in the band. I was brought up in the Salvation Army, and the Army had a strong influence on me. I was involved in the Church and my wife and I sang in the choir. We met there and we still have a strong faith, that includes giving back,” he continues.
Harry Lawson has not only given the gift of his time and expertise to March of Dimes, but is also a major donor, and has pledged a legacy gift.
“March of Dimes has always been in my Will. The organization does great work and as Board Chair I visited some of the towns in which its work is very visible,” he says.
“I respect the leadership, including key board members like Dr. David Logan, whom I have known and worked with. I got great pleasure getting people from my industry, automotive sales, to get involved when I was active. I was able to recruit some key volunteers to join March of Dimes, such as former Chair Duncan Read.”
March of Dimes Canada greatly appreciates the many contributions of Harry Lawson, and thanks him and his wife for their incredible generosity. Their recent gift and the legacy gift will help support Canadians with disabilities to live more independently through services of March of Dimes Canada.
“This organization does great work,” says Harry. “This (donating or leaving a legacy gift) is a great opportunity and more people should take it. I have moved on to let others take on leadership roles and I encourage everyone to volunteer”.
For more information on how you can leave a legacy gift like Harry Lawson, please contact:
Planned Giving Department
(416) 425.3463 ext 7338
1-800-263-3463 ext. 7338
or download and complete the request form.