John Fenton, together with his wife Jonanne and family, steadfastly supported Yonge Street Mission’s work for as long as we have records. To explain his affiliation with YSM, John spoke how, at the age of 11, he first entered YSM and has held YSM’s work in his heart ever since. That fact is evidenced by many decades of giving, terms as Treasurer on YSM’s Board of Directors, and his tireless fundraising for and participation in our annual Coldest Night of the Year fundraising walk, even well after John started experiencing physical challenges.
Sadly, John passed on from his time on Earth on Saturday, May 6, 2023.
YSM's Tribute to John Fenton
As John was a source of loyal support, motivation and inspiration for YSM staff and community members for most of his life, YSM is honouring John’s legacy with the launch of a new program: the John Fenton Youth & Family Engagement Initiative. Its aim is to provide participants with a hands-on experience which enables young people to reflect on John’s commitment to service and use his extraordinary example to be inspired to begin journeying with YSM and the community members we serve.
John Fenton’s 80-year relationship with YSM began as an 11 year old boy who entered YSM’s Evergreen Centre with his father. Upon witnessing the struggles of the youth there, he was moved to action. That day defined his life of service to those in Toronto experiencing poverty.
Our program, known in short as JFYF, will engage youth groups and families with pre-teen and teenagers to learn from John’s experience as they participate in actions to benefit struggling Toronto neighbours, so they may be inspired as John Fenton was.
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Our program, known in short as JFYF, will engage youth groups and families with pre-teen and teen members in actions to benefit struggling Toronto neighbours, so that they may be inspired as John Fenton was.
If you are a family or part of a youth group wishing to engage in volunteering at Yonge Street Mission, or just wish to learn more, contact Eleanor Edwards at 416-929-9614 x 4212, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.