January 15, 2009
If all goes according to plan, member Brian Cocks sees a day when the Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation has over $10-million as a legacy to help students pursue careers in horticulture.

That plan calls for members to leave around $10,000 in their wills towards the Foundation. Cocks says that the purpose of his plan is to help bring more young people into the industry.

“It’s not going to happen tomorrow, but over 30 to 50 years it will amount to a significant total. For most LO members, leaving $10,000 in their will is peanuts,” says Cocks, who serves on the Foundation’s committee. “The tax considerations alone make it worthwhile.”

Cocks says that at last year’s Congress he received verbal commitments for a quarter of a million dollars. “Many members I spoke to didn’t think about the idea of leaving a legacy for the industry, or understand how simple and inexpensive it can be. Once I explained it to them, they were very supportive.”

The idea to help raise money for the Foundation came to Cocks last year, following the announcement the Foundation’s trust fund had reached a million dollars. “For years the Shriners have used this method of leaving funds in a person’s estate to raise money,” says Cocks.

Each year the Foundation provides scholarships to students from a number of colleges in Ontario. Last year saw $23,000 handed out. The scholarship announcements are made during Congress.

Cocks hopes those who have benefited so much from this industry, will now give back through specifying funds in their wills. The Foundation also provides In Memoriam cards, allowing donors go give memorial gifts toward sustaining Ontario’s horticulture industry through research and scholarships. Donors receive a charitable tax receipt.

To contact Brian Cocks, call 905-643-1978, or e-mail brcocks@hotmail.com. You may also contact John Wright, chair of the Foundation, at 519-581-2942, or e-mail john@wright.on.ca.