Following the passing of Mr. Wytze and Mrs. Janny Hiemstra over the last two years, their family wanted to give a gift to Immanuel Christian School Aylmer in honour of their parents’ legacy. After all, they had been dedicated supporters of Christian education even before they had children, and Immanuel Christian School held a special place in their hearts.
“When the family informed me that they wanted to make a gift that went beyond a one-time donation, I turned to the Christian School Foundation for options in supporting special gifts,” said Keith Cameron, the principal at Immanuel Christian School Aylmer. Using some suggestions from the Christian School Foundation, it soon became apparent that an area of keen interest for the Hiemstras was also an area of need for the school. “We wanted to be able to support new initiatives and enthusiasm by injecting our Arts and Music offerings with new resources,” said Mr. Cameron. “When the family heard of this need, they picked up on it right away. Mrs. Janny Hiemstra had always enjoyed the arts and took special delight in seeing young children develop their gifts in music.”
After some conversation the family decided to establish a fund through the school’s Foundation that would provide money for upgrading the resources Immanuel Christian School Aylmer uses in the areas of art and music over five years.
“We chose to have the funds bless the school over five years so that the legacy would last for a time, but not so long that it would start to lose its meaning, its connection with our mother and grandmother,” said Mr. and Mrs. Hiemstra’s son, Charlie.
Mr. Cameron sees this as a positive experience for all involved. “The family wanted this gift to be something that met a real need at our school, and we are delighted that they thought of such an appropriate way to honour Wytze’s and Janny’s memory,” he said.
The Foundation’s CEO Tony Kamphuis said, “Our role is to foster this kind of connection between the interests of donors and the wonderful activities taking place at our schools… and then to put the structure into place to make this kind of giving a reality. This is what the Christian School Foundation was set up to accomplish, and we are energized by being able to be part of a story like this one.”