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Alphonse Gerwing

A Note From Our President

Dear Relatives and Friends of the Al Gerwing Charitable Foundation,

On November 9, 2007 our beloved friend, mentor and inspiration, Alphonse, passed away to his eternal reward.

Al had not been feeling well for a few months before and when he was brought to Royal University hospital in Saskatoon in September for tests, he received the news that he had cancer of the liver. I was with Al when he heard the results. He was at peace as I think he already knew that his situation was serious. He simply asked if treatments could stop or reverse the cancer's growth. The oncologist told him that the cancer had already spread to a series of spots on his liver and that at best treatments could possibly prolong his life for a few months. On the ride home from the hospital, Al told me that he had decided that he would not take any treatments.

After about a week in the hospital, Al was released as they could not do much more for him medically. What a blessing it was that he was able to spend his last days in the home of his much-loved Aunt Louise and her nephew, Greg Schulte. Aunt Louise was Al's music teacher in his youth and he loved to spend time visiting her throughout his life (Aunt Louise will turn 98 on July 6th). Greg is a gifted musician and has for years been instrumental in helping Al arrange and perform concert tours in order to raise money for the Foundation. Greg is also one of the directors of the Foundation.

Together they cared for Al in their home until he was taken to Palliative Care at St. Paul's Hospital for the last week of this life. Many friends and relatives were able to visit Al during his stay with Aunt Louise and Greg and were inspired by the love that they showed him. On behalf of Al and all of those who knew and loved him, thank you Aunt Louise and Greg for your many selfless acts of Christian kindness toward Al and toward the throngs of friends and relatives that invaded you home to visit with Al.

Al's funeral was held in St. Anthony's Church in Lake Lenore, the parish of Al's youth and the parish he had returned to for the last years of his life. On his return, Al became the accompanist at the Sunday liturgies at St. Anthony's. He shared his musical talents with his fellow parishioners until he was too sick to do so. Fittingly, his funeral was a wonderful, wonderful celebration of his life. The two choirs he was instrumental in establishing, St. Peter's Chorus and the Marysburg choir joined together to perform at his funeral. Al was joyously (and tearfully) sung to the gates of heaven. It is a funeral and a musical celebration I will never forget.

Thanks to the foresight of Al's niece and nephew, Marina Lawrence and Paul (Wally) Gerwing, Al's legacy and good works will not end with his death. Marina and Paul initiated the Foundation for this very moment, the time that Al would no longer be with us. The many projects that Al supported in Brazil can continue to be supported through "The Alphonse Gerwing Charitable Foundation". It is more important than ever that word of the Foundation spread now that Al is longer with us physically to spearhead the fundraising efforts like he did for so many years.

The Alphonse Gerwing Charitable Foundation has been in existence for around six years now and the net worth of the Foundation as well as the amounts donated to projects continues to grow. The net worth at the end of 2007 (after disbursements) was around $450,000.00. I encourage each of you to consider becoming part of the Foundation. Your donation adds to the principal value of the Foundation. Only the earnings are used to fund projects each year so all contributions continue to "give" year after year.

The Foundation is really a local charity as all of the directors are Al's relatives and volunteer their services. As a result there is no "bureaucracy" and all of the earnings go directly to the designated projects decided upon by the directors of the Foundation and the directors of Rainbow of Hope for Children. They include continued work on behalf of street children and the landless poor in northeastern Brazil and recently, a teacher education centre in Guatemala to help allow the Mayans to educate their children in their native language and culture in addition to Spanish.

In 2006 the Foundation received a direct donation of shares of the Potash Corporation. The advantage of donating shares directly to a Private Foundation is that the capital gains tax is reduced to zero plus you get the charitable receipt for the donation. This year we have also had our first "direct deposit" donor sign up. Direct deposit enables a donor to make a regular donation each month by having the donation transferred to the Foundation automatically.

If you are interested in either of these options please contact our treasurer, Ted Gerwing at or by phone at (306)374-9771.

Once again, best wishes to each of you. Thank you for your support of Al's Foundation. I encourage you to consider the Alphonse Gerwing Charitable Foundation as one of your donation options for this coming year.

Our hope

As you know, the purpose of the Foundation is to keep Al's projects (and memory) alive long into the future.

You can help

By contributing to the foundation, you can help to ensure that Al's work will continue to make a difference in people's lives.

Donations can be made out to the Alphonse Gerwing Charitable Foundation and sent to Box 149, Lake Lenore, SK., S0K 2J0.

If you would like to receive brochures or for more information, contact:

Ted Gerwing - Sec. Treasurer
14 Harvard Cres., Saskatoon, SK., S7H 3R1

Steve Buttinger - CEO
390 Waterloo Cr., Saskatoon, SK., S7H 4H6

Charles Matt & Vicki Gerwing (Web & Info)