Fast Foundation: a little bit goes a long way
When Louise Fast, President of the Fast Foundation, found out that she had reached the one million dollar mark in donations to the Montreal Children’s Hospital, she couldn’t hold back her surprise. “I hadn’t kept track!” she candidly exclaimed. That’s because the Fast Foundation has been consistently giving tens of thousands of dollars to the Children’s every year – for 42 years.
“Children’s health is a cause we hold dear to our hearts and in that field, the Montreal Children’s Hospital enjoys a solid reputation,” says Louise. “Our Foundation is not in the megabucks logic. We prefer making a long-term commitment so that every year, the Children’s knows a certain amount of money will be coming in that they can count on.”
The family foundation was started by Louise’s mother, following the death of her husband Morris Fast, founder of Locweld inc., a thriving business in Candiac specialized in the design and fabrication of steel structures. At the funeral, several people spontaneously told the grieving family about financial assistance they had received from the businessman when they were in need. With that, a tradition of philanthropy was born and quietly endured, in honour of Morris Fast.
At the time, his wife had heard that the Children’s was carrying out research on rheumatoid arthritis, a condition she suffered from. She made her first donation to the hospital in 1973, to help children who were forced to cope with this disease from a very young age. With that first donation, the Fast Foundation affirmed its support of research at the hospital. “We are strong believers in research because it is something that is not kept within the walls of an institute,” explains Louise. “Researchers share their findings in scientific literature, which in turn can inspire other hospitals to use this knowledge in their own setting. By funding research, we believe we can help even more people.”