The Terence Haight Financial Aid Committee of Gravenhurst had work to do to ensure that grant applications from community organizations were under budget.

Since 2015, the committee has awarded $25,000 annually to organizations that deliver programs that benefit Gravenhurst. Eleven organizations applied for funding for a total of $40,926. One group, the Royal Canadian Legion: Harry Wray Branch 302, withdrew its application. They were asking for $5,800 to rebuild the wheelchair-accessible ramp at the legion’s entrance.

The seven-person committee has decided that the successful candidates are:

  • The Muskoka Ringette Association has requested $4,000 to “grow the organization and remove barriers for younger age groups.”
  • Timber Beast Productions has requested $4,000 to help fund its production of “Citronella” at the Gravenhurst wharf.
  • Gravenhurst Ladies Auxiliary for $3,300 to replace the legion kitchen floor for “safety reasons” and to ensure it is “COVID-19 compliant”.
  • Gravenhurst Elderberries Choir for $2,800 to help fund its 2023 season.
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Muskoka for $2,500 to host an open house in Gravenhurst to “build deeper connections with the community and increase awareness of available services.”
  • MiND AID for $2,100 to hire “Safe Talk” instructors to provide training to the community.
  • Gravenhurst Women’s Center for $2,000 to fund a program that helps provide personal care supplies to women in the community.
  • YWCA Muskoka for $2,000 to help fund the “Boys Quest” program at KP Manson Public School in Severn Bridge.
  • Gravenhurst BiFocals Bands for $1,550 to help “develop and implement an outreach program to further engage in the community.”
  • Safe Quiet Lakes for $750 to help purchase “educational materials.”

“I think a lot of them mentioned they could all operate with reduced funding, it’s just in reduced capacity,” the adviser said. Steven Klinck told the committee. “There are a lot of good things that could be great restarts for the community as we hope to come out of COVID.”

In 2008, Gravenhurst resident and local business owner Terence Haight died. A biography written on the City of Gravenhurst website explains that he left over $1 million to the city. Subsequently, it was determined, through public consultation, that the money would be used to establish the financial assistance program.

Ross Jeffery, the city treasurer, says $126,283 has been distributed since the committee was established seven years ago.