United Way KFL&A’s statement on the passing of Honourary Patron Arthur Britton Smith

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of United Way Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, we are incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of Arthur Britton Smith and offer our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.

Mr. Smith leaves behind a legacy that has not only made a lasting impact on the Kingston community, but also the United Way KFL&A. As a long-time supporter of United Way, he served as campaign chair in 1967 and then served as Board Chair and as a member on the Board of Directors for a number of years. He continued to give generously to United Way throughout the years and became the organization’s Honourary Patron in 2001.  In 2016, he made a gift of $1.2 million to support a home for homeless youth age 16-19 years – the largest single gift to date to United Way KFL&A. Elmwood transitional house opened in 2017 and continues to help youth in our community.

Mr. Smith has received numerous accolades and awards for his amazing philanthropic work over the years and always focused on supporting and giving to his community in any way he could. As United Way’s Honourary Patron, he also welcomed Leadership donors into his home each year during the summer, including this past summer in June, to thank them for their generosity and support, greeting each donor at the door and playing the trumpet before his speech.

In 2020, as Mr. Smith celebrated his milestone 100th Birthday, a United Way volunteer asked him why he gives? To which he replied “Well, it’s payback. The community has been good to me, so it’s to even the tally. This is a great country and a great community. We’re showing our appreciation and this is the easiest way to help the less fortunate members.”

Thank you to Brit Smith for giving back and supporting so many different sectors – health, education, social services, cultural – in our community. These donations, both big and small, have helped community members of all ages – seniors, families, students, youth, and children. The name Brit Smith is often associated with the phrase “transformational gift” and his generosity and donations have done just that – they transformed organizations, programs and the lives of many members in the community. He will be greatly missed in our community and we offer our sincere condolences to all of his family and loved ones.

From your United Way, thank you Brit Smith for all the amazing support, conversations and feedback over the years. Kingston has lost a very special community member and you will be deeply missed.

 – Antje McNeely, Board Chair, United Way KFL&A & John DiPaolo, President and CEO, United Way KFL&A