In 1988, Judith and Norman Alix learned that Clearwater Arena needed a second ice surface. The township had received a grant from the provincial government, but was struggling to come up with the balance needed for the second rink. “Both of our boys played hockey at Clearwater, so we donated the balance. That project led to another, and then another,” explains Judith Alix. Norman and Judith would hear about a need in the community, and if it was something they could help with, they did. “Norm and I were very grateful to Sarnia-Lambton for supporting our business through the years, so as Norm said, ‘Whenever we’re able, we like to give back to the community.’”

In 2011, the Judith & Norman Alix Foundation was officially established to formalize the application process and ensure the family could continue to have an impact in the community for years to come. “We work closely with Lambton County Council to identify projects that need funding. While we don’t have the resources to fund every project, we are always receptive to ideas,” shares Adam Alix, Judith and Norman’s nephew and Vice President of the foundation. The foundation’s goal is to help the community by donating 80% of the interest earned from the capital fund originally donated by the Alix family back into the community, while the remaining 20% is reinvested to perpetually grow the fund itself.

The Foundation supports capital projects that will have a positive impact on Sarnia-Lambton. To meet the funding criteria, organizations must be a registered, charitable organization or municipality within Lambton County, the funding requests must be for capital projects, and must benefit the community at large. “We look for the projects that can touch the most people and do the most good. We don’t have the resources to solve every problem or fill every need, but we can make a difference by shining a light on important causes and setting an example for others to get involved in their community,” shares Judith.

Some of the projects the foundation has funded include the Judith & Norman Alix Wing at the Dow Centre for Youth, which currently houses Big Brothers, Big Sisters; the Bluewater Health Withdrawal Clinic, a 24/7 residential facility that offers withdrawal management services and support; and the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery. “Most recently we provided a donation to the Inn of the Good Shepherd to support their COVID-19 efforts. We’ve been involved in so many great projects. One of our smaller projects that I love is the portable bleacher system that provides full accessibility, so everyone can enjoy the fall fair events in Lambton County,” shares Judith.

The Alix family wants to leave a lasting legacy of good works and pass the foundation on to the next generation. As Joe Alix, Judith and Norman’s son and President of the foundation, shares, “It's very fulfilling to be a part of my family’s life work and to know that my own children are growing up in a community filled with compassionate people who care about others.”