Ontario Trillium Foundation grant helps people with disabilities stay connected

Waterloo, ON – On Wednesday, the team at Independent Living Waterloo Region (ILWR) celebrated a $78,500 Resilient Communities Fund grant they received from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to help support people with disabilities through its Community Resource Program.


“We are still far behind where we need to be when it comes to supporting people with disabilities. The pandemic has been a drain on a system many rely on, with organizations constantly dealing with staffing challenges,” said Laura Mae Lindo, MPP for Kitchener Centre. “People with disabilities who rely on these services find themselves alone in their daily lives, waiting for supports that may have been delayed or canceled due to staffing shortages. Organizations have no choice but to do their best with what they have. We need to increase staffing if we are to meet the needs of the independent living community. As a recipient of the Resilient Communities Fund Grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Independent Living Waterloo Region (ILWR), is closing that gap, bit by bit.”


With the support of the OTF grant, the Community Resource Program, which was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, was able to expand to meet the needs of persons with disabilities experiencing isolation and lack of vital resources. ILWR works diligently to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities by providing vital supports. The funds from OTF enabled ILWR to provide one-on-one and peer support for persons with disabilities and helped to develop financial stability for the program.


“The support provided by the OTF Resilient Communities Grant has been very meaningful in the lives of persons with disabilities,” said Dan Lajoie, Manager of Independent Living Resources at ILWR. “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the people we support, and this grant has allowed us to help them to stay connected with peers and to access vital community resources.”


The Independent Living Waterloo Region has been leading community accessibility since 1982 and supports people with disabilities to live independently. Along with their robust Attendant Services program, the Community Resource Program empowers individuals to participate fully in community. To learn more about Independent Living Waterloo Region please visit: www.ilcwr.org.


The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations celebrates 40 years of grantmaking in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested nearly $209M into 2,042 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Visit otf.ca to learn more. 


Registration is $135 per golfer, which includes 18 holes of golf, golf cart, dinner, and an evening program.

Ontario Trillium foundation
History of the Tournament of Hope

About the event

Established in 1997 by former Kitchener-Waterloo area United Way CEO John Thompson, the event has been helping disabled individuals purchase assistive devices, adapted technology, and medical equipment for 25 years.

The first event had a single focus: to help Randy Hepditch, an individual with a disability living in Waterloo Region,  and his family purchase a wheelchair accessible van. Out of that event grew ILWR’s Access Fund, which has given 287 individuals more than $625,000 to purchase items that help them live more independent lives.

While the Tournament of Hope isn’t the Access Fund’s only funding sponsor, it remains the largest. Original recipient Randy Hepditch’s parents, Gerard and Linda Carmichael, still volunteer for the event every year.

Get involved

How you can help

Become a

Sponsorship is vital to help offset operating costs so more money can be directed to the people who need it most.

With a full field of over 130 golfers, it is also a great opportunity to promote your company and its support for the community. Sponsorship levels include Presenter, Supporter, Cart, Event, and Hole.

Donate to Our Silent Auction

Each year our silent auction is filled with amazing items donated by our community.

As a donating business, your company information will be displayed to help promote your goods and services.

Donations can include products, services, and gift cards.

Become a

We are always looking for individuals to help on the day of the tournament.

Opportunities range from helping with registration to assisting at one of our specialty holes. It is a great way to help your community and enjoy the sunshine while supporting a worthwhile cause.