Barrie Public Library - Enriching our Community

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The K'Leigh Cundall Children's Library Endowment Fund

The K'Leigh Cundall Children's Library Endowment Fund

On March 31, 2007 a very special gathering was held on the Children’s Floor of Barrie Public Library as family and friends of K’Leigh Cundall came together to celebrate a very special gift to the Library … a gift honouring the memory of K’Leigh, on the date that would have been her 22nd birthday.  That gathering celebrated the memorial gifts made in honour of K’Leigh, to benefit the Children’s Services department of Barrie Public Library – and to share how K’Leigh’s memory and name will always be alive here in this building, and in our whole community.  K’Leigh’s family wanted any memorial gifts for K’Leigh to be used for Children’s Library Services and, as those memorial gifts grew, an option that became possible was a named endowment through the new Barrie Community Foundation.  And so The K’Leigh Cundall Children’s Library Endowment Fund came into being – a permanent gift which will forever honour K’Leigh’s name and spirit, and which will forever benefit the children’s library here.

Photo - Donation
Brian, Brenda and Peter Cundall present endowment gift to Library Board Chair Sarah Kastner, with Michael Walker and Jim Harmsworth of the Barrie Community Foundation

K’Leigh Cundall was forcibly taken from a life bursting with promise and from family and friends brimming with love.  K’Leigh’s parents say she always wanted a library of her own.  As she walked her neighbourhood as a student in Ottawa she would show her Mum the posh houses with libraries, and say again how she wanted a library in her house.  With the establishment of this endowment fund and the gift that will come from it every single year, in perpetuity, “K’Leigh’s library” will grow right in this building – with books travelling from here all over our community.  Carried in the arms and backpacks of children to many, many houses all across Barrie and Oro-Medonte … and K’Leigh’s name and bright memory will travel along in many of those books as The K’Leigh Cundall Children’s Library Endowment Fund adds children’s books to our shelves and adds equipment to our children’s programmes and services.

This fund is administered by the Barrie Community Foundation (BCF) to provide annual grants for children’s library services to the Library in perpetuity.  Endowments provide a source of permanent funding by ensuring that the original donation will never be depleted.  It is the hope of the Cundall family that their gift will encourage others to add their donation to this endowment, encouraging future generations to pursue culture and life-long learning through their public library.  K’Leigh’s family also hope that this endowment fund will encourage everyone in Barrie to learn more about the Barrie Community Foundation and perhaps make a gift themselves. 

Thank you K’Leigh – for living your life in a way that inspired others to keep your spirit alive and to find this way to continue your essence and make you proud.  As a friend said of you in Ottawa … “that would be K’Leigh’s way”.

And thank you to the Cundall family – for honouring Barrie Public Library by choosing to shape this gift of endowment through the Barrie Community Foundation in such a way that it will bring philanthropic treasure to Children’s Services here at the Library every single year from now on.  K’Leigh’s parents tell us that they feel as if all the memoriam gifts which have gone into this endowment speak from all our hearts – that the outpouring truly overwhelmed their family - and that the kindness and generosity shown by our community through these gifts will never be forgotten – just as K’Leigh herself will never be forgotten.

Many years ago, Sir Winston Churchill said “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life of what we give”.  K’Leigh’s living was much too short – but her life will live on through this giving – through the living testimonial of the endowment fund which bears her name.  K’Leigh’s memory and name will always be alive here in this building - and in our whole community … through her love of books and libraries.

For information about donating toThe K’Leigh Cundall Children’s Library Endowment Fund please contact the Library's Development Office at 705-728-1010 ext: 7137, or by e-mail at Or for more information about the Barrie Community Foundation and about establishing an endowment call Doug Shaw at (705) 792-0442, then choose option # 6. or email