In October of 2009, Vivien Symington, founder and owner of Club Aviva announced the establishment of the Symington Endowment Fund. Vivien established the fund to empower children with neuro-developmental disabilities, youth-at-risk, and high performance gymnasts in the pursuit of excellence. The fund provides financial support, in the form of bursaries or grants, to enable access to programs encouraging healthy physical and emotional development. The primary target of the fund will be supporting intensive one-to-one camp experiences for children living with neuro-developmental disabilities as well as elite gymnasts and youth in need of financial assistance to achieve their goals.
The Symington Endowment Fund has been established in honour of Dr. David C Symington and his wife Evelyn Symington. Dr. Symington is a world-renowned specialist in rehabilitation medicine who received many awards for his dedication to disabled populations around the world. Dr. Symington is a very unusual man; he is a practical visionary, a tireless worker, a cock-eyed optimist who is deeply admired by all who know him. Dr. Symington is a Professor Emeritus of Queen's University, founding their School of Rehabilitation Medicine, School of Physical Therapy and their School of Occupational Therapy. He is a Past President of Rehabilitation International and was also the Chairman of its Medical Committee. He was a member of the World Health Organization (WHO), serving on their expert advisory panel on rehabilitation. Evelyn Symington was his staunch supporter over the years, a loving mother for their six children and ten grandchildren and an advocate for disadvantaged children around the world. In June of 2011, Evelyn passed away peacefully in Kingston, Ontario after battling Alzheimers for several years. Currently Dr. Symington resides in Kingston, Ontario.
On November 8, 2009, the Symington Endowment Fund was launched at Rodos Kouzina during the Tri-City Movement Therapy Society Fundraiser. An initial contribution of $10,000 was presented to the Coquitlam Foundation with the help of children living with autism and other mobility challenges.
As of January 2016 the Symington Endowment Fund has dispersed over $40,000 to the following organizations:
- Tri-City Gymnastics Society
- Tri-City Movement Therapy Society
- Pocomo Youth Services
The fund has also distributed funds directly to over 30 athletes and 70 youth-at-risk.
The Symington Endowment Fund has already provided financial assistance to children in need and will continue to provide assistance for generations to come. Our goal is to raise as much funds as possible to provide a substantial amount of ongoing support for children in need.
Thank you to all of our donors for their generous contributions, this fund obviously couldn't exist without you.