For more than two decades, hundreds of communities across Canada have come together to recognize the immeasurable ways philanthropy benefits us all. National Philanthropy Day is officially recognized in Canada on November 15th, and is celebrated by government leaders, fundraisers, businesses, individuals, and community groups.
For its 22nd annual celebration, the Association of Fundraising Professional (AFP) South Saskatchewan Chapter will host an awards luncheon on November 14, 2023 at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina.
Beginning in early November, several incredible organizations and individuals were recognized and honoured through a series of posts and videos on social media that capture their extraordinary stories. Check it out! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
2023 National Philanthropy Day
Outstanding Philanthropist Award - Nominated by the U of R
Drs. Lynn and Jim Tomkins
Every year in November, the Association of Fundraising Professionals - South Saskatchewan Chapter joins charities, organizations, and citizens across Canada to celebrate National Philanthropy Day by recognizing the contributions of donors and volunteers. This year, we are pleased to announce Drs. Lynn and Jim Tomkins as our 2023 Outstanding Philanthropist award recipients presented by DCG Philanthropic Services Inc. and supported by the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation.
This award recognizes an individual or family with a proven history of exceptional generosity, civic, and charitable responsibility, and who motivates others to become philanthropic locally, nationally, or internationally.
Drs. Lynn and Jim Tomkins are philanthropists, humanitarians, and community leaders that have made an impact that is keenly felt in communities across Saskatchewan. They’ve been strong supporters of the University of Regina – at which Jim has dedicated over 50 years of service, be it serving as Chancellor, President and Vice-Chancellor, or professor and Department Head in the U of R’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Jim has granted degrees to thousands of students and, together with Lynn, who practised family medicine in Regina for 40 years, made significant donations toward areas such as the College Avenue Campus Renewal Project, the U of R Neuromechanical Research Centre that supports movement and health research, and student awards, to name a few.
"On behalf of the University of Regina, our heartfelt congratulations to Drs. Lynn and Jim Tomkins for earning their Outstanding Philanthropist Award,” said Marc Butikofer, Director of Advancement at the University of Regina. “This award fittingly recognizes not only their exceptional philanthropic spirit and lifetime of service to the community, but also our deepest gratitude for their leadership in changing the world with a heart of giving, and humility."
Through the Lynn and Jim Tomkins Foundation Fund with the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation, they have supported numerous causes ranging from the Regina Transition House, which helps women and children live violence and abuse free, to the construction of the new Mosaic Stadium, bringing people together from all corners of the province through the passion of sport.
“Jim and Lynn are very generous individuals who continue to be involved in opportunities that help improve the well-being of community,” said Donna Ziegler, Executive Director of the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation. “Over the years they have given their time, talents and resources back to numerous charities. Through Jim’s past board leadership with the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation, and now as a Foundation trusted advisor, the communities the Foundation serves have flourished and benefited from his wise counsel.”
If you scoured the Internet for annual reports of charities, you’ll see the Tomkins listed in countless numbers of them as donors and volunteers. Lynn Tomkins volunteered for many years at the MacKenzie Art Gallery and is a contributing member of Connecting Threads, distributing quilts to cancer patients and women’s shelters; and Jim is Vice-Chair of the Darke Hall Society and a member of the Trust and Endowment Committee and Senate at the University of Regina. In previous years, Jim served on the boards of the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation; Regina Palliative Care Inc; the Saskatchewan Red Cross; and as a member of the U of R Academic and Administrative Benefits Committee (for over 40 years).
“Through their giving from the Lynn and Jim Tomkins Foundation Fund, Jim and Lynn have responded to emergent community needs, gifted to the Vital Community Fund at the Foundation to increase its reach and impact, and supported causes that are close to their heart,” Ziegler said. “Their efforts help to build a resilient and vibrant place where everyone belongs.”
The Tomkins are strong supporters of the Regina and Saskatchewan community be it through their giving, volunteerism, and leadership. Their generosity transcends monetary value, serving as an inspiration and example to us all.
Regina Paramedics with Heart
2023 Outstanding Community Partner Award Recipient
The non-profit Regina Paramedics with Heart (PwH) is run by local paramedics “to enhance paramedics’ quality of life through professional and community collaboration.” Their volunteer members educate and promote their profession in initiatives at schools, senior living, local events, festivals, and other public initiatives, taking requests from the public to attend charity events. Because of their outreach, young people, families, and adults affected by intellectual or physical disabilities are exposed to PwH – including their equipment and their services in a fun, friendly, and non-emergent atmosphere, creating a safe and caring environments in case paramedic services are ever needed. We couldn’t be more excited to recognize them as the recipients of the 2023 National Philanthropy Day Outstanding Community Partner Award.
“Regina Paramedics with Heart is honoured and humbled to be recognized as an Outstanding Community Partner,” said Rob Snell, President of Regina Paramedics with Heart. “Our small group of volunteers set out to make an impact on the well-being of paramedics and the communities they serve. We’re fortunate to be aligned with organizations that share our goals, most notably the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation. This distinction is a confirmation of future goals and we are beyond excited to continue that work.”
In addition to their outreach, PwH supports Pride parades, YWCA Walk a Mile in her Shoes, the Regina Humane Society, OSI-CAN, donates blood, and promotes breast cancer awareness, National Truth and Reconciliation Day, and other worthy causes – such as the war in Ukraine. Local police, paramedics, and firefighters gathered ballistic vests, equipment, and when the time came to ship all these items overseas, PwH stepped forward to pay the costs.
They also lend their support to charity fundraising events, such as Movember, where in 2022 they were the top EMS team in Canada and Medical Professionals in Canada raising nearly $12,000. They also surpassed $100,000 raised over several years for Movember.
“Being a paramedic is in itself a demanding profession and for those who choose being a first responder as their career, we have deep gratitude and admiration,” said Donna Ziegler, Executive Director, South Saskatchewan Community Foundation. “Regina Paramedics with Heart has gone above and beyond in serving their community by committing their personal time to building relationships and a greater understanding of their work, and through their collaborative efforts in raising funds and awareness for many worthy causes. They are an outstanding testament to how the quality of community life can be enriched through service and philanthropy.”
In addition to the causes PwH lends themselves to, in 2018, with support from the MNP Community Fund and the Curtis family, they established the Robbie Curtis Memorial Scholarship at the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation. Robbie had spent eighteen years as an Advanced Care Paramedic with Regina EMS but, passed after a long battle with PTSD. This $2,000 scholarship is awarded annually to a Paramedic who shares the same commitment to their job and future education that Robbie did.
PwH recently expanded to establish a chapter in Weyburn where they continue their outreach. “PwH is more than an association that does good work – they are committed to advancing the health of our community in tangible, impactful, ways,” said Ziegler.
Congratulations Regina Paramedics with Heart on receiving the 2023 Outstanding Community Partner Award!
The Association of Fundraising Professionals - South Saskatchewan Chapter has seven award categories we recognize donors and volunteers across. To celebrate all of our award recipients on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, purchase your tickets to our 2023 National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon presented by DCG Philanthropic Services Inc. and supported by the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation, here:
Reserve your tickets today!