We’re working hard on a powerful new website that not only provides you with information about SurreyCares, but, much better, includes a crowd-sourced fundraising tool so you can support the Surrey cause you care about! We’re baking in a few other new “Community Connection” tools, too. We’re pretty excited about it, and plan to launch it later this fall…as soon as our volunteers can finish putting it all together! (If you have skills that might help us get it done sooner, and want to help, let us know!)
If you would like to join our mailing list (we only send out messages very occasionally, about once a month or so), please sign up with the form on the right, or on this page, here:
And last but not least, here’s a sneak peek at the draft design of our new site…
At a Celebration of Life event held on May 4th in the meadow that was once Francisca’s front lawn, Mayor Dianne Watts, Manager of Parks Owen Croy, gardeners and horticulturists from around the Lower Mainland, SurreyCares volunteers, friends, and family all gathered to remember Francisca and to enjoy the beautiful gardens she and her husband, Edwin, created out of a giant field of freshly-logged stumps. Over sixty years of passionate activity, starting with blowing up stumps and planting seedlings, transformed the raw land into an colourful oasis hidden behind a big, protective wall, filled with rare and endangered species from around the world.
“She was a superb horticulturist,” said Douglas Justice, longtime friend and Associate Director at UBC Botanical Gardens. “If someone wanted to see a particular plant and they didn’t know where to find it, if it wasn’t at UBC Botanical Gardens and Van Dusen Gardens didn’t have it, you could probably find it at Darts Hill.” Botanists especially appreciate her garden because many of the trees and shrubs are now mature, making studying them a full and rich experience.
To support the ongoing care of the garden, which has been entrusted to the care of the City of Surrey in partnership with the Darts Hill Garden Park Conservancy Trust Society, Francisca and Edwin created an endowment fund that they placed into the care of the then newly-formed Surrey Foundation (now known as SurreyCares). In fact, the Foundation was created especially for their needs, to give them a way to support the garden’s care and enhancement for generations to come.
With her passing, Francisca has bequeathed a total of $1 Million to the fund: $200,000 during her lifetime, which has already funded a number of important projects, and now an additional $800,000, bringing her legacy fund to $1 Million. Over the next twenty-five years, this fund will generate a conservative income of about $1 Million, more if the markets are favourable, monies that will be granted out to care for the garden while keeping the original endowment intact. Over a century, her bequest will have quadrupled in size, granting out at least $4 Million to support the garden, still without touching the fund’s capital.
The Foundation that was created to help the Darts realize their vision for the community also provides a great – simple, and affordable – way for anyone in Surrey to provide legacy funds for causes they care about. Some funds are created to remember special people who have passed on; some funds are created to support a particular cause; some funds are established to support an organization’s own ongoing needs; and some people simply choose to contribute to the general community fund managed by SurreyCares, which provides grants annually to support contemporary causes and to meet current needs. In addition to growing a beautiful garden, the Darts also planted a seed that will mature to become a valuable community asset as more people begin to take advantage of our services both to donors and to charities.
If you wish to explore how we can help you remember a loved one or support a cause you care about long-term, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’d be happy to have one of our volunteer professionals discuss the options with you and show you how setting up an endowment fund helps you multiply your community gift exponentially compared to present-time giving of the whole amount.
Thank you, Francisca and Edwin, for the two wonderful legacies you’ve left to our community: a garden and a community foundation.