Welcome to a Legacy Story
A legacy filled with compassion and caring for others
Starr Bell (pictured left) is part of a family that thrives on helping others. From her father, Nelson, to her brother Gary, to her adult children, generations of the Allan family share a unique awareness of vital community needs as well as an intrinsic desire to put a shoulder to the wheel and solve problems wherever they find them.
While Nelson (pictured right) passed away in 2008 at the age of 94, his work with isolated seniors continues today through the Nelson Allan Fund, created in 1997, which supports seniors. Individuals select an activity offered at the Burlington Seniors Centre, are provided with transportation and the opportunity to have lunch with volunteers.
Starr’s father Nelson recognized a need among his peers—many were staying in their homes, almost as prisoners—captured there by fear, financial constraints or simply lacking the courage to venture out and connect with one another.
Bringing together small groups of seniors for programs and activities, Nelson’s solution grew into a toolkit that can be used to raise community awareness as well as identify potential program providers and partners. Sharing the same compassion as her late father, Starr Bell is actively involved in continuing his work today alongside a dedicated group of volunteers who are affectionately known as ‘Nelson’s Team’.
The legacy of caring that Starr continues to build is founded in a desire to give freely of life’s most precious resource—that of time. Starr is dedicated to the committee that works on the Nelson Allan project, helping to identify seniors to help live a more enriched life.
Starr also is passionate about carrying on her late brother Gary and his family’s legacy as well as her own. As a well-known educator, Gary championed the idea of offering a wide range of high school programs for learners of all ages across Halton Region, an idea that would evolve into Gary Allan High School’s eight campuses.
Gary passed away in 2001 but his passion for providing unprecedented access to life-long educational opportunities lives on. As a fellow educator, Starr deeply values the commitment her brother brought to the profession and keeps his vision vital through her contributions to a scholarship fund that supports Gary Allan High School.
Part of Starr’s dream for the Allan family legacy is to ensure that her children, and eventually grandchildren, are an integral part of the decision-making process for her late father’s fund as well as the Starr Bell Fund. She knows that her children also share her father’s compassion and caring for seniors who live in isolation. “I see my dad as a great visionary,” Starr shares, “and I’m proud to be doing my part to keep his work alive.”
Putting the bequest Nelson left her to community use, Starr recently established her own fund with the Foundation. Starr explains “I am so grateful that my father believed in planned giving. It touches me deeply to know that our family will live on through giving to others.”
“By generously giving of her time, compassion and caring, Starr is building a legacy that will last for generations.” says Colleen Mulholland, Executive Director, Burlington Community Foundation. “From youth to our most senior residents, the Allan family is touching the Burlington community in deep and meaningful ways.”
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