The gift: $200,000
The causes: Niagara Symphony Orchestra and the St. Catharines Performing Arts Centre
After Virginia Atkin and Keith Ambachtsheer bought a 15-acre property in Ontario's Niagara region, they quickly embraced many of the area's cultural institutions, including the Shaw Festival.
It was their connection to the festival that led them to becoming involved with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra a few years ago.
At the time, the symphony was going through a restructuring and Ms. Atkin was approached about joining the board of directors.
"They came to me and said, 'We need a little help,'" Ms. Atkin recalled.
It didn't take long for the symphony to turn around. The new managers brought in an acclaimed musical director, expanded its program and began a fundraising campaign to facilitate a move into the St. Catharines Performing Arts Centre, slated to open next year.
Ms. Atkin and Mr. Ambachtsheer, a finance professor at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, donated $150,000 to the campaign. They also contributed $50,000 to the performing arts centre.
While the couple have made many donations to other worthy causes, the symphony remains an important part of their lives.
"It's an exciting time there," said Ms. Atkin, who noted that the orchestra brings music to dozens of communities in the region.
"We have been very blessed," she added.
Now she is hoping to demonstrate to others that "caring and sharing is part of what we should do."