The Tawny Richard Memorial Fund was established by Tom and Trudy Richard, parents of Tawny Richard. Tawny’s life was tragically cut short in the summer of 1996 in a fatal car accident.
Overwhelming support from the community led Tom and Trudy to direct donations into a fund that provides a monetary award to a graduating student. Tawny was a very active student at Humberside Collegiate Institute and it seemed fitting to support a place that Tawny loved.
The award is given to a female student, who like Tawny did, excels in athletics and has participated in several activities within the school. This person should be an established leader and highly respected by their fellow students.
Tawny was loved by friends, teammates, teachers, coaches and family. The Richard family is happy to give out an award to an outstanding individual who had demonstrated Tawny’s qualities.
Tawny Richard Award Biography
Tawny was someone who exuded positive energy and happiness, and her wonderful spirit was contagious. To sum up Tawny, one could say she was all heart.
She never judged people and genuinely loved everyone for all of their uniqueness. She included everyone because it would bother her if she didn’t. She was a very happy person who wasn’t afraid to be goofy for a laugh.
She was a popular person at school, but would always say hi or hang out with someone who was quieter, and when two burly football players threatened to shove her into a locker because she was petite, she laughed, teased them right back and became friends with them.
One of Tawny’s most unique gifts was her natural athletic ability. Outside of school she did competitive gymnastics for 10 years and won so many medals they called her a ‘clinker,’ because the medals would clink around her neck when she walked. She made it to the national competition for power-tumbling while in high school. She played recreational soccer, volleyball and coached soccer at Runnymede P.S. in later years.
Tawny came home from her first day at Humberside with her paper agenda that Humberside would give out to students to help them keep organized. On the first page was the Humberside song. Tawny was so excited to go to Humberside she actually practiced the song at home until she had it memorized.
She tried out and made the cheerleading team, and by grade 11 she was the captain and running it. (In the 1990s cheerleading was cool, and Humberside men’s football played in division A and won the division title that year.)
In the spring Tawny decided to play soccer because she had played house league soccer when she was young. Tawny had such a natural speed, she could have been a sprinter, and when playing soccer no one could beat her to the ball. It was because of her speed she was immediately positioned as a striker and was an MVP for the team her five years in high school. Tawny put in 100% at every practice because that’s just who she was, and didn’t understand giving anything less. Her teammates loved her because she was hardworking, motivating, a team player and fun.
In grade 11 Tawny became friends with a girl who played on the ice hockey team. She said that she thought Tawny should play because she knew Tawny was an extremely gifted athlete, and thought she would pick it up quick. So in her play-it-again sports equipment Tawny got on the ice her first practice, she used the boards to stop and learned what a crossover was. Tawny learned quickly and was just as fast on the ice as she was off. All heart was definitely the best way to describe her that first year. In grade 13 the team was divided into A and B teams, and she made the A team ahead of people who had played hockey all of their lives.
When the idea of a woman’s flag football team was proposed Tawny was one of the first people to sign up. Knowing Tawny would be on the team gave other girls confidence to sign up and play.
Tawny struggled academically, and as you can imagine her A grades came in gym class. She never stopped trying and doing homework, she persevered even in academics.
Tawny helped organize as well as participate in the first ever Humberside fashion show. She was very excited about it, and it was such a success it continued for years after.
Tawny decided to run for student council, not to pad her resume, but because she wanted to help make school better for her peers. She was a peer mediator in its inaugural year, and had the privilege to conduct two peer mediations in her time at Humberside. She was a member of the Girls Athletic Association and won a Humberside ‘H.’
Tawny was a friend to everyone and a stranger to no one.
When she died in a car accident over the summer, an overwhelming number of people attended her funeral. Teachers, students, friends, so many people the lineup went out the door and down the street for all three viewings. Tawny had touched the lives of so many people, they all took time out of their summer vacation to say goodbye.
The Tawny Award represents someone who is a natural athlete, but also someone who is loved and respected by friends, teammates and coaches, someone who has a love for Humberside, and a love for life.
Tawny Richard Award Application
- Is a senior class student
- Has been a member of the hockey and/or soccer team and has demonstrated proficiency
- Has participated in at least one other athletic team
- Has participated in two other non-athletic leadership activities
- The award winner most demonstrates the ‘spirit’ of Tawny as outlined in the Biography
If more than one student fits the criteria and is nominated, the recipient will be determined by their peers in a senior class vote.
To enable the Donor Advisor to properly recognize donors for their contributions, Toronto Foundation will share your contact information and donation amount with the Donor Advisor unless you have checked the anonymous box on the donation form.