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Making Awesome happen, $1,000 at a time

How do we ensure Newmarket continues to be the best place to live and work in Canada? It starts with Awesome ideas. Enter the Awesome Foundation Newmarket, a group that provides monthly hassle-free micro grants to help bring those ideas to life.

Rather than a charity, the Awesome Foundation is like a giving circle. Ten trustees give $100 of their own money each month to help an individual or group implement a great idea that helps people locally. At the Awesome Foundation Newmarket, we focus on ideas that benefit youth in Newmarket.

September 2017: Awesome Foundation Newmarket Grant Recipient

Congrats to the 94 Air Cadet Squadron —the latest Awesome grant recipient. The grant will be put toward its seniors’ weekend retreat taking place at the end of the month, explains Tara Lauzon, Secretary of the Squadron Sponsorship Committee (SSC) who says the senior cadets (ages 15 and up) play a vital role in the effective functioning of the Squadron. “To start off each training year, the Seniors of 94 Squadron meet for a full weekend to refresh their survival skills, set goals for the year, learn new instructional techniques, and have a bit of fun at the same time.”



July 2017: Awesome Foundation Newmarket Grant Recipient

Another month, another grant! Congratulations to Commons Coffee & Catering—Awesome Foundation Newmarket’s latest grant recipient. You may recognize the Commons crew from the Farmers Market where they serve up their delicious coffee and treats every Saturday. Part of the grant will help them continue to be there by covering the cost of the rental van they need each week, says Susan Popper, director/volunteer manager and founder of Commons Coffee and Catering. It will also, she says, help with purchasing some equipment for catering jobs, as well as a new tent and an espresso machine. “It will put us closer to our aim of raising $4000. We have had some donations and garage sale and plan to hopefully organize a fundraising concert or other fundraising activities.”


June 2016: Awesome Foundation Newmarket Grant Recipient

Our June grant recipient is BridgeNorth, a community program based in York Region, dedicated to helping commercially sexually exploited women and children exit the sex industry and build healthy lives. “This means that more young people can have access to practical supports through BridgeNorth; and that girls already in the program can continue to access long term counselling services that are vital to their recovery and healing,” says Casandra Diamond, Founder and Director of BridgeNorth.

The grant, she says, will be used in a number of ways. “It will help to provide crisis care and reintegration services to young persons in York Region by providing much needed counselling services, clothing, food and toiletries.”

Pictured here (L to R): Awesome trustee Diane Farmer, BridgeNorth's Casandra Diamond and Sarah Joy Herzog-Masci, with trustees Jackie Playter, Juliet Irish and David Faingold.

April 2016: Awesome Foundation Newmarket Grant Recipient 

Congrats to 94 Newmarket Optimist Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron for receiving April’s Awesome grant. A fixture in the Newmarket area for more than 50 years, the Squadron gives youth the opportunity to learn valuable skills, such as personal development and leadership, aviation, drill, survival training, and music, says Tara Lauzon, Secretary of the Squadron Sponsorship Committee (SSC). “Cadets give back to their community by participating in Remembrance Day ceremonies and other community service activities, including working with local veterans groups such as the Newmarket and Bradford branches of the Royal Canadian Legion.” Lauzon says the grant will be used to purchase things like supplies for the Pipe and Drum Band at the squadron.

Pictured here (L to R): Awesome trustees Neil Stratton, and Juliet Irish, with Tara Lauzon, Awesome trustee Jackie Playter, James Scott (SSC), and Awesome trustees Diane Farmer, Debra Scott and Michael Croxon.

March 2016: Awesome Foundation Newmarket Grant Recipient

Congratulations Project Autism! The York Region branch is the latest grant recipient for their “I Can” Initiative, a program designed to increase social interaction, and learning and development for autistic children and youth. The program inspires creativity, curiosity and encourage hidden talents with a variety of fun, interactive classes, says Anne Mason, President and Founder of Project Autism - York Region. “It is an opportunity for social interaction and fun in a completely accepting environment.” The programs are free thanks to the generosity of volunteers. Though geared towards those on the autism spectrum, programs are open to any special needs children regardless of diagnosis.


February 2016: Awesome Foundation Newmarket Grant Recipient 

A big congrats to Malka Snobel, our latest Awesome grant winner. Malka is a teacher at a small school in Newmarket, and the grant will go toward starting up a new LEGO club there. The club, she says, will provide hands-on learning and give students the opportunity to enjoy an after-school activity.

Pictured here (L to R): Awesome trustees Diane Farmer and Debra Scott with winner Malka Snobel, Michael Croxon, Jackie Playter, Neil Stratton and David Faingold. 


November 2015: Awesome Foundation Newmarket Grant Recipient 

Awesome Winner Nov 2015

The latest Awesome Foundation Newmarket grant goes to Rachel Stewart for The Buddy Bench project! The idea, she says, was sparked when she noticed a colourful bench in her son's school yard. Rather than just a place to sit, the bench is a spot for kids to go when they have nobody to play with or feel lonely. Rachel says her own son has used the bench. “He said, ‘When I was new I sat there and someone came to me and asked me to play. I felt happy. And now when I see kids on it, I ask them to play with me… We all do.’” Rachel's goal is to see a buddy bench in every school yard across York Region. 

Pictured here (L to R): Awesome trustees Michael Croxon, Lily Galati, Debra Scott, Diane Farmer with winner Rachel Stewart, and trustees Jackie Playter, Sabine Schleese, Juliet Irish, David Faingold, Neil Stratton and Wasim Jarrah. 

We’re constantly accepting idea submissions from people of any age and with a variety of ideas. No idea is too small, and those that promote fun are as important as those with more serious focus. APPLY NOW

Got questions? Check out the Awesome FAQ


No-strings-attached micro grants? You bet! Get the scoop on Awesome and discover more about our chapter.

AWESOME TRUSTEES: Who in the world would give away $100 of their own money each month? Our truly Awesome Trustees, that’s who. Coming soon: Learn more about the people behind Awesome Foundation Newmarket. 

PAST WINNERS: What’s Awesome? An anti-bullying campaign, a lunch program for school kids created by school kids, a local hockey rink, an art exhibit… We can go on and on. Read more about some of our past winners

MEDIA: Coming soon: Check out the nice things people have said about Awesome Foundation Newmarket. 

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