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Glenn Hadden with (from left) Donae Baker, Baneen Kazmi, Justyne Martin and Batul Naqvi at Cedar Drive Junior Public School.Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

The Donor: Glenn Hadden

The Gift: $600,000

The Cause: Toronto Foundation of Student Success

The Reason: To fund school nutrition programs

When Glenn Hadden was growing up in Scarborough, Ont., he used to spend his summers playing baseball behind Cedar Drive Junior Public School. Last month he returned to the school for a much different reason.

Mr. Hadden was there to donate $600,000 to the Toronto Foundation of Student Success a charitable foundation of the Toronto District School Board. The donation will be used to fund student nutrition programs at Cedar Drive and several other schools across Scarborough.

"We're trying to make sure that everyone has a chance to achieve their true potential. And education is one of the best ways of doing that," said Mr. Hadden who is the head of global interest rates products at Morgan Stanley in New York.

Mr. Hadden fondly recalled his years in Scarborough, saying they helped shape his career. It was during a Grade 5 field trip to the Toronto Stock Exchange that he became fascinated with finance.

"I decided pretty much right then and there that investment finance was a career that I wanted to have," he said, adding that he still remembers watching shares of Maple Leaf Gardens and Irwin Toys change hands that day. "They were all the companies that you knew and used pretty much every day. I started getting shares of these companies as birthday and Christmas presents."

Mr. Hadden's family foundation has donated more than $1-million over the past decade to various school programs across Toronto. Part of the focus has been on nutrition programs because Mr. Hadden believes they are key to success in school. "There are numerous studies that show that an adequately nourished child has a much greater level of cognitive ability," he said.

As for the return to Cedar Drive? "It was really special."

Follow Paul Waldie on Twitter: @PwaldieGLOBEOpens in a new window

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