A few days before Christmas I spent 30 minutes in spirited discussion with Steve McQuaid on the telephone. Steve had just spoken to one of the Island’s Rotary clubs about challenges in the non-profit sector, and he’d used the School Lunch Program initiative of PEI Home and School Federation as an example of an initiative that could use Rotary’s help. In his capacity as President of the Community Foundation of PEI, Steve had taken an active interest in school nutrition, provincially and nationally, and since home and school became engaged with the issue two years ago we had many conversations about the way forward. We concluded our call with a plan to speak again early this new year.
I first met Steve five years ago when, again through his role with the Community Foundation, we chatted about an idea I’d come up with for developing a sort of centralized IT help desk for non-profit organizations. He generously agreed to spend time with me talking about whether it was a good idea or not, and whether, even if it was, it was something achievable. As with the myriad conversations we shared in the years since about all manner of things, Steve was enthusiastic, helpfully critical, imaginative and freely giving of his time and energies.
Steve died earlier this week at the age of 69. With his death I’ve lost a trusted source of advice and counsel, the Island has lost a great and tireless champion of the power of non-profit organizations to change the world, and the McQuaid family has lost a caring and generous man.