Every year, thousands of donors help create life-changing learning experiences by supporting TVO. Meet some of the generous people whose donations make everything we do possible.
Cathy Hess is a longtime TVO supporter. Her dad, Don Mills, helped create TVO. A lawyer, he served on TVO’s board as corporate secretary and executive counsel for more than 30 years and was instrumental in the development of TVO alongside Hon. William G. Davis.
“When we were growing up, TVO was very present in our household. My three siblings and I enjoyed the children’s programming, and my dad loved watching Saturday Night at the Movies. In more recent years my mom was an avid viewer of The Agenda with Steve Paikin. Because my parents were so passionate about learning, they encouraged us to watch educational shows and have thoughtful discussions. My parents were smart, curious, and loved discovering new things about the world. They valued TVO for its widely accessible, high-quality content.
“Both of my parents believed in the value of TVO and wanted it to continue — not just for their children and grandchildren, but also for generations to come. So after my dad passed away 10 years ago, my mom, wanting to honour the work he did in his lifetime, asked my siblings and I to arrange for a gift to TVO in his memory. It was easy for us to follow through on this wish knowing how much TVO had meant to our dad and our family.”
Pamela Samuels has watched TVO for over 30 years. Her children grew up with TVO and when she became a grandmother, she wanted TVO in her grandchildren’s lives. In 2015, she decided to remember TVO in her will.
“I remember watching with my children when they were young. I donated when I could and always felt it was important to keep TVO going. It became something I wanted my grandchildren to experience.
Up until the recession, I watched a lot of TVO. When our income plummeted we got rid of our television to save money. I recently got it again since my husband passed last year and TVO is all I watch. I’d keep supporting even if I didn’t have television.
I love TVO’s current affairs programming too. Current affairs cover everything from provincial issues to local concerns. Our interests differ but we learn about each other through TVO. We have so many different communities in Ontario so it’s important to know about each other, to keep in touch, and to know what’s relevant for people living in different circumstances.
TVO epitomizes the positives of public broadcasting. It’s not done for money. The content challenges us and I like what it does for children. It’s the right blend of programming for everyone."
George Fallon is a TVO supporter who wrote in to share what TVO means to him and why he hopes to continue a trend of giving in his family.
“My wife and I watch most of TVO’s programs, especially The Agenda with Steve Paikin. The quality of the programming is invaluable to us. We often record them to view at a later time."
George and his wife support TVO wherever they can. They are also attempting to pass on their philanthropic spirit to their two grandchildren, Mark, age six, and Paul, who is almost four. “We bring them from school three days a week and they have dinner with us. Often, they watch TVOkids in the evenings and, from their conversation, it appears that they both enjoy the programs very much,” George said.
In 2015, George was proud to mail in a donation from Mark and Paul to TVOkids. “At the beginning of last year we, as a family, started a piggy bank for each of them and from the total we have advised them to give 10% to charity and especially TVOkids. We have started the piggy banks again and plan to continue this practice each year.”
Donald Pounder was a passionate TVO viewer of The Agenda with Steve Paikin. He enjoyed telling people that The Agenda and Steve were like family to him, especially in the later stages of his life. In keeping with Mr. Pounder’s wishes, 25 percent of his bequest has been directed towards The Agenda with Steve Paikin — programming that he cared so deeply about. His gift helped create a brand new set for The Agenda that included multiple areas for broader discussions. Mr. Pounder’s generosity also led to the creation of mPower, TVO’s free game-based digital resource that helps students from Grade K–6 with math.
Mr. Pounder’s legacy is one that will help Ontarians learn for years to come.
He was a graduate of University of Toronto and held a Master's Degree in Mathematics from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He applied his academic training to a varied career that took him to Avro Canada and IBM and a number of other organizations. His interests included gliding and music history, and he was an active member of the Canadian Amateur Musicians of Canada.
Danny Chirnomas has been a fan of TVO for over 30 years. It’s a love that runs deep. Thirty years ago, when Danny first arrived in Toronto from Montreal, he watched Saturday Night at the Movies with Elwy Yost. Later he started following Steve Paikin’s shows, Diplomatic Immunity, Studio 2, and now The Agenda with Steve Paikin.
“What I have always liked about TVO is that the current affairs programs don’t show a bias. Issues are discussed intelligently. It’s a vital source of information that is hard to find elsewhere. It’s not just two-minute snippets with two people but a much longer in-depth discussion. It’s the one place to go for balanced dialogue.”
Danny’s motivation for being a legacy donor is simple: “I figured that once you’ve taken care of your family, charities like TVO should benefit.”
From humble beginnings in England to Professor of Chemistry, as an accomplished musician and lute maker in Ontario, Colin Everett’s journey was one of perpetual discovery.
“That’s just the kind of man he was,” says his wife, Carol Railer. “He never let anything hold him back. If he discovered something that he was interested in, he pursued it. And Colin was into everything.”
Perhaps this is why, upon his death in 2011, Colin left a generous gift in his will to TVO. “He always believed that TVO was important,” explains Carol. “He loved the nature programs, history programs, and The Agenda with Steve Paikin.”