Well, yesterday was a BIG day for me.
About two years ago I had the idea to start a foundation to help disabled people do the sorts of things I am fortunate enough to be doing - running, riding, skiing, cycling, swimming etc. etc. These types of endeavours are often particularly expensive for disabled participants - for example a running prosthesis like mine costs about $12,000.
After discussing the idea with a bunch of people I was actually a bit discouraged.... I found a lot of people's eyes glazed over when I started talking about this idea. Looking back I think there were two reasons - 1) I was talking about selling one of my businesses to concentrate on this; and 2) charity stuff just plain isn't interesting to most 30-something guys. (About #1: I think most people were very doubtful that selling a business and replacing it with the "idea of a charity" could be financially smart. Understandable...)
A little time went by and I talked to a few other people... finally to my training partner and good friend Kevin. He was the first person to get a spark in his eye and start tossing out ideas. I think we had the first of many 90 minute bagel and coffee chats post-Masters and I left feeling energized, and I had at least one BELIEVER. Thanks Kevin!
I did a bit more work on it in the next few months. Bit by bit I had a few plans coming together... a real boost came when I did sell my business last summer. I took some of the funds and had an identity created, I also hired a lawyer and got a society incorporated and an application for charitable status submitted to the government. The process to achieve all of that was long arduous and a little expensive. It's not all smooth sailing in the world of lawyers and the CRA.
The Government of Canada (god bless them) guarantees that it will take "at least 9 months" to review the application... a little longer than one would hope given the rapidity with which they check 20-odd million tax submissions this time of year EVERY YEAR but I digress....
Anyway, after months of waiting I got a call yesterday that we have a charitable number! If you write me a cheque I can give you a tax receipt! (Actually, I am not sure how to do that yet but I will be soon!)
Thanks to everyone who has been supportive from the start or who joined in along the way to help me get to this point. It is only the beginning but boy did it take a long time to get here!
There will be more info and news showing up here on a regular basis.
Friday, April 25, 2008