Dr. Austin Forsyth Memorial Fund

Saskatoon became home for Dr. James Kerr in 1976 after he completed his education at University of Waterloo School of Optometry and etered private optometric practice with Dr. Austin Forsyth and Dr. Brent Beaton.

Soon after, James began serving his profession, volunteering on the Saskatchewan Association of Optometrists Council as well as its national counterpart, Canadian Association of Optometrists.

While involvement in professional organizations allowed James to improve the operations optometric industry and become involved in clinical research, it was his relationship with Dr. Austin Forsyth that developed James’ interest in his local community.

As one of the seven founding members of The Saskatoon Foundation, Austin frequently promoted the value of sustaining the charitable sector in Saskatoon to anyone who would listen.  James listened.

He first became an annual donor, enabling the Foundation to assist countless local charities working in almost any conceivable area.  Then as his professional life allowed him more time, his thoughts turned to his community and how he could play a greater part.

Through discussions with advisors, James determined that he could take care of his family and make a considerable gift to the community by making a bequest in his will.

As James explains, “My priority is my family.  Knowing that they will be taken care of is very important to me.  But knowing that they can thrive in a community that respects and cares for others is also important.  I wanted my legacy, in some part, to work toward ensuring that Saskatoon continues to be such a city.”

James also wanted to recognize a dear friend and mentor.  This was accomplished through the establishment of the Dr. Austin Forsyth Memorial Fund.  Since both his and Dr. Forsyth’s interests varied so widely, from the arts to sports to health, James felt that the newly created memorial fund would be most beneficial if it remained unrestricted, assisting the maximum number of local charities each and every year in the areas of greatest need.

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