WINCHESTER – Fred and Carole Brouse spent their lives living in both Brockville and Iroquois.

Fred and Carole Brouse

For much of that time, each worked for the same company, Automatic Electric. Fred had a passion for boats, whether it was building and racing hydroplanes from the early 1960s to the early 1980s, or cruising in the boat affectionately known as the “Big Decision.”

Carole shared her husband’s passion, serving as his number one fan and first mate. They were both well known in the racing circuit and along recreational waterways in Ontario and Quebec, as well as parts of the U.S.

She was also known as an active canvasser for a number of charities, and both Carole and Fred gave of their time freely, participating in a number of charitable golf tournaments. All of this for the same reason – to make a difference.

Hard work combined with financial know-how allowed the Brouses to leave philanthropic gifts for four different charities after their time on this Earth came to an end.

Sharing nearly $400,000 is the Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation, and the Ottawa Hospital Foundation.

“I wish I knew [them],” Kristen Casselman, managing director of the village hospital foundation, said. “And I wish I could have known about the depth of their commitment to WDMH while they were alive so I could thank and celebrate their inspirational spirit with them.”

BMO Nesbitt Burns facilitated the gifts of shares from the couple’s estate, noting that it will translate to a recurring donation for the next several years. In the first transfer, the WDMH Foundation netted $100,909.

According to the executor of the Brouses’ estate, the village hospital was tabbed to receive funds as both Fred and Carole had received care there, as did her mother, Donelda Banford.

Carole also canvassed for the foundation during its “Renewing the Vision” campaign, which helped to fundraise for a 90,000 square-foot addition at the hospital.

The other charities listed were also part of the couple’s lives, given that Fred survived a brush with prostate cancer and Carole’s father died of a heart attack at a young age and her stepfather suffered a major stroke that took his life.
“Fred and Carole hope that this kind of gift, made over several years after their death, would act as a continual reminder to the community of the importance of regular contributions in order to fund new and existing projects, so that the charities know there is a certain level of income to rely on for planning,” the executor added.

For Casselman, it is so much more than money being transferred.

“We are always very honoured to receive a gift from someone’s will, as it’s the most personal and selfless gift someone can make,” she said. “We truly consider our planning giving donors part of the family at the WDMH Foundation… Thank you to the Brouses and to the estate executor for facilitating such an impactful gift.”

Taking part in the $100,909 transfer to the Winchester District Memorial Hospital Foundation were managing director Kristen Casselman (left), board director Chris Chevalier, Bruce Tessier (BMO Nesbitt Burns), and board director Joe Brennan. The funds come from the estate of the late Carole and Fred Brouse, who earmarked more than $400,000 in donations in their will. Courtesy photos