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Photo of Gail Drummond and Bob Dorrance posing outside at an event.

Challenge accepted

For Gail Drummond and Bob Dorrance, it all comes down to community.

“We both strongly feel that it’s important to live in communities where everybody can collectively grow together,” says Dorrance, who, alongside Gail, feels a responsibility to make the place they call home—Toronto—somewhere that supports and uplifts everyone who lives there. Their shared philosophy on giving back is a version of “A rising tide lifts all ships”—but with, Dorrance notes, an acknowledgment that “rising tides don’t lift all ships at the same pace.”

The couple’s focus on community is one of the reasons they’ve been involved with United Way for over twenty years. “You can find charities that are working to solve a health issue or an education issue or an arts issue,” says Dorrance, “but United Way is working on community issues with a strong strategic vision.” As someone who knows a thing or two about strategy himself—Dorrance led TD Securities for over twenty years—he admires the United Way’s ability to “connect dots” across communities. “It finds opportunities for involvement, and provides a solution,” says Dorrance, who retired as President and CEO this September and now serves as TD Securities’ Chairman.

While he’s hosted an annual fundraising event on the TD trading floor for years, last year Dorrance got what he calls “a front row” seat, serving on the 2020 cabinet as the bank stepped up in a significant way to support United Way. He was struck by the impact of the pandemic across the Greater Toronto Area—and the way United Way was able to move quickly to support the people and organizations who needed help the most.

It’s why he and Gail felt that the time was right to make a significant gift to United Way’s 2021 Community Recovery Campaign. “We thought, ‘If we’re going to do something like this, what better time to do it than now?’” Their gift will match all new Major Individual Giving gifts of $10,000 or more until December 31, up to a maximum of $1 million.

“Having a matching gift will hopefully fire people up to increase and become major givers. There’s an aspect of a challenge that can provide that spark,” says Dorrance. It’s not meant to be competitive, but if that spurs people to give, well, game on. “We’re doing it because we want to match, and we want there to be as many matches as possible,” he says, adding with a laugh. “Please cost us some money.”