Helping youth live their dreams – that was the message from Anthony Longo, President and CEO of Longo’s when the Longo Family Foundation gave a transformational $5M gift to Humber College. The announcement of the gift, made on June 2, 2022, at Humber’s Faculty of Business, will support business and leadership education, contribute to small businesses and build entrepreneurial skills that will strengthen local economies and communities.
By doing so, the Foundation aims to remove barriers to education and business development by offering scholarships and seed funding through their gift, as well as provide critical support for mentorship, networking and skills development.
In recognition of their philanthropic support, Humber’s Faculty of Business and Centre for Entrepreneurship has been named the Longo Faculty of Business and the Longo Centre for Entrepreneurship.
“We want to build thousands of stories like Longo’s”
Anthony Longo, President and CEO of Longo’s, graduated from Humber’s Business Administration program in 1981. He has since served as Chair of Humber’s Board of Governors and Co-Chair of Unlimited, Humber’s first-ever fundraising campaign. Many members of the Longo family are also Humber alumni.
“We really see it as an opportunity to help some of our youth get started on their own businesses and live their dreams, just as my father and my uncles did. My dad started his business when he was 22 years old. Their parents encouraged them to start a business. If they didn’t have that encouragement, Longo’s would never have been born. We want to build thousands of stories like Longo’s, helping those 22-year-olds get started on whatever their dream is,” said Anthony, who believes that “small businesses are the engine of our economy”.
Making the community “stronger and healthier together”
Rosanne Longo, spokesperson and Chair of Longo’s Family Foundation, says part of the family vision is to contribute to a world of strong, healthy families, one in which children and youth can reach their full potential.
“The last two years showed us nothing more than [that] small businesses were probably hurt the most,” says Rosanne. “But at the same time, the silver lining was [that] a lot of businesses developed from those startups and are thriving because of the pandemic.”
Rosanne says the Foundation takes the responsibility of being leaders in the community very seriously and “hopefully inspire others to join us in the cause to make the community stronger and healthier, together.”
With this gift, the Unlimited Campaign exceeds its $50 million fundraising goal, which is a milestone for the college, and its community of supporters.
“Supporting the creation and success of small to medium-sized businesses will play an important role in helping Canada’s economy thrive. With Humber’s polytechnic approach and focus on job creation, we are grateful to the Longo family for their leadership in helping all of us build back better,” said Chris Whitaker, President and CEO, Humber College. “This gift builds on Humber’s longstanding relationship with the Longo family that has benefited students for years.”