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The donor: Jim Noble

The gift: Raising $500,000 and climbing

The cause: The Perth and District Union Library

The reason: To fund a literacy program for children

When financial adviser Jim Noble was assigned to the Royal Bank of Canada’s branch in Perth, Ont., he was keen to develop a personal connection with clients.

He started an annual golf event and decided to raise money for a local cause as well. A colleague at the bank suggested the Perth and District Union Library’s literacy program, which offers one-on-one tutoring to more than 100 children every summer to boost reading skills. Mr. Noble raised just $600 in the first year of the tournament, but the event slowly grew. Now, 14 years later, it regularly tops $100,000 annually and it has raised more than $500,000 in total. “The more you live in a community, the more you start to connect with like-minded people who believe in the strength of the community,” Mr. Noble said from his office in Perth.

Roughly $375,000 has been set aside in an endowment to provide the literacy program with stable funding and Mr. Noble is hoping to increase that amount to $500,000. He added that seeing the event grow from such an inauspicious beginning has been extremely fulfilling. “We’re going to be dead a long time so what do you want your legacy to be?” he added. “This will be part of my legacy. I’m very proud of it. It started from nothing and it’s been a great journey.”

pwaldie@globeandmail.com