Van Raay is a local philanthropist, and was given an award in 2017 for a National Philanthropy Day, Inspiring Philanthropy Award. Van Raay was nominated by Lethbridge College after he donated $5 million to start the Cor Van Raay Southern Agribusiness program, which is a joint program started by the college and university that focuses opportunities for agriculture-related education.
"I heard about the Community Foundation, and I like what it does for the community. I see the opportunity to establish a fund as a great way to work with the Community Foundation and see what we can do together to support the community," says Van Raay.
Charleen Davidson, the Executive Director for the Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta says this fund is a test drive, "They want to see what they can do with us, how we can work with them, and what that looks like. And that's the stage Cor was at, seeing what was going on in the community, and how he can work with us to facilitate supporting the community."
This is the first time that the Community Foundation is working with Van Raay, "He's definitely a well known philanthropist in our community. He's extremely generous, and has done a lot to improve our community over the years," adds Davidson.