Otis Grant is best known for his accomplishments as a champion in the ring having held the WBO Super Middle Weight title. Otis is also known as an educator and community activist who supports many causes in the Montreal community with his foundation.
After a car accident nearly took his life in 1999 his personal fight and determination became a focus of the media. Shortly after his return he was asked by a community organization if he would loan his name to a food drive because they were having a hard time filling there need list. In doing so the response to the food drive was a huge success. Within a three week period Otis Grant and some friends were able to secure over ten tones of food for the food drive.
Realizing that he can use his name to help people in need The Otis Grant & Friends Foundation was started with the goal of helping the less privilege through food donations. The story of Otis’ return from near death as well as his return to the ring in pursuit of a title taken from him due to the accident has served as an inspiration to all.
The OTIS GRANT & FRIENDS foundation is a non-profit organization operating since November 1999 dedicated to raising funds for the distribution of food and cloths to individuals and families in need. The foundation assists and supports other charitable organizations in and around the Montreal region that operate in the same sphere of activities. In addition, the foundation supports families experiencing extreme hardship due to illness and medical needs. The foundation also assists students from needy families who are going on to post secondary studies through scholarship donations.
History & Activities
The Foundation was started in November of 1999. Early activities focused on the less fortunate and needy with Christmas Food Drives for churches, homeless shelters, community organizations, food banks and soup kitchens. This evolved into areas of health care, summer camps and educational support.
Areas of Support
Health and Medical
Currently the foundation supports families experiencing extreme hardship due to illness and medical needs through purchasing equipment needed by families and paying for special treatments not covered by Medicare. In many cases families are both emotionally and financially devastated from the unfortunate hardship that they are experiencing. Generally by referral, the foundation has helped families with treatments or equipment needed as a result of a medical condition where there is no foundation or agency servicing such a need.
- Funding of a ramp for a child that is blind and has cerebral palsy. This allowed his family to have easier access to and from the home for continual medical attention.
- The foundation covered treatments for a child that allowed him to be taken off a feeding tube. The child is now able to eat normally and lives a healthy life.
- Helping a family pay for medical equipment and having a nurse in the home that allowed the family to bring the baby home from the hospital.
- Purchase of special medical equipment needed by families.
- Support of the West Island Palliative Care Residence
- Funding of treatments for accident victim Patricia Jolicoeur after her family was advised that her long term specialized care would no longer be funded by the government.
- The foundation sponsor of LBPSC and West Island Chamber of Commerce Discover the Stars Science competition by sponsoring the “Aileen Proudfoot Award” for the top male and female science students each with a $3,000 scholarships”.
- The foundation also assists students from needy families who are going on to post secondary studies through scholarship donations.
- The foundation gives scholarships to graduating Riverdale High School students that are moving on to post secondary studies. The recipients of the scholarships are chosen by the Riverdale graduation committee made up of senior teachers.
- The foundation also supports the West Island Black Community Association (WIBCA) scholarship program.
- Every year the foundation also sends kids from families in need to summer camp and support special need students at the high school level. Over the years the foundation has developed ongoing relationships with community organizations that work with families in need. During the summer the foundation will receive calls from some of these organizations requesting financial assistance in sending underprivileged kids to summer camp.
- The foundation has provided dinners and food drives for The Old Brewery Mission, Welcome Hall Mission and The Salvation Army.
· Texas Hold Em Poker event
· Annual Golf Tournaments
· Annual Fundraising Dinner (Started Last Year Oct 18 event)
· Annual 94.7 Hits FM Softball Marathon
· Annual 94.7 Hits FM Saturday night hockey fundraiser from January to April
· Occasional fundraising parties
· Softball tournaments, Summer B.B.Q at a farm in Lancaster
· Making appearances and speeches with the fees going to the foundation.
· Occasionally the foundation receives a check from United Way/Centrade employee payroll deduction program where the employees specify that they want their deduction to go to the Otis Grant & Friends Foundation