Burns Memorial Fund is the gift of Senator Patrick Burns–a successful rancher, businessman and philanthropist. Senator Burns was an active citizen of Calgary, contributing to the development of many of the city’s institutions and charities. He was one of the “Big Four”–the four ranchers who organized the Calgary Stampede. Senator Patrick Burns passed away in 1937, leaving this legacy for the children of Calgary. In 2008, Senator Burns was named Alberta’s Greatest Citizen, as part of an initiative marking The Calgary Herald’s 125th anniversary.
Today, Burns Memorial Fund is guided by the following mission statement:
Honouring the legacy of Senator Patrick Burns, we work to ensure that each child in Calgary reaches their full potential. By investing resources in the areas of education, health and well-being, we build a strong community for our children and youth.
The Burns Memorial Fund trustees form a joint board to govern a private charitable foundation (The Children’s Fund) and two non-profit trusts (the Police Fund and the Fire Fund). Burns Memorial Fund provides educational grants for the children of police officers and firefighters, offers financial assistance to meet the health, education and recreation needs of children living in low-income situations and supports registered charities focused on low-income children.
Messages from our Recipients
“We couldn’t do it without this program. We felt like we have family here supporting us and bringing joy and happiness and relieving many burdens related to the immigration/settlement experience. You made our first three years much easier and from there we are moving forward.”
– FMF client
“Without help from the Burns Memorial Fund, I do not know how I could have paid for my daughter’s dentistry. Her pain is gone, her teeth were fixed in one session and she is not afraid to go back to the dentist! We appreciate your help for those of us who may otherwise fall through the cracks and be left unable to help our children.”
– Oral Health grant recipient
“The aid provided by the Burns organization reached me at a critical point in my education and had a tremendous impact on me to continue pursuing that educated life. It helped me concentrate on school and not worry about many of the financial challenges my family was facing.”
– High School Bursary student
To protect the privacy of our clients, the following names have been changed in the stories below:
- Doug struggled with reading and language arts and had many health issues. After years of academic difficulties, he was tested and eventually enrolled in a school which best met his needs. Here he could be in a classroom with fewer students and programs designed to support his learning challenges. Through the Police Fund, we assisted with his tuition for four years, from Grades 7 to 10. He graduated from high school and became one of our post-secondary scholars, pursuing a business degree.
- Abby is a young high school student who had immigrated to Canada after the murder/suicide of her parents. She was living in Calgary in an unhealthy and potentially dangerous situation. We provided a monthly living allowance which helped her to leave that situation, to focus on her high school studies and to develop her athletic potential by participating in school sports. She was subsequently named female athlete of the year at her school, as well as receiving an Outstanding Citizenship Award and a volunteer Award.
- Jason faced many personal struggles including family abuse and alcoholism. He was a young father himself but determined to go on to post-secondary school. Our scholarship funds assisted him to attend Mount Royal College, with the goal of becoming a social worker.