Capital Campaign Goal



The goal of Space to Grow is to purchase the John Paul II Family Centre in 5 years and establish a fund to cover improvements over the next 5 years.

With the purchase complete in 5 years, FFI can continue to improve and manage the Centre while maintaining affordable rental/program rates for years to come.

Read the letter from Michael Whelan, Campaign Chair

Use of the Funds

  • Purchase $1,000,000
  • Legal/Taxes $50,000
  • Improvements $200,000
  • Total $1,250,000

The John Paul II Family Centre is the ideal space for families to flourish!

Filled with natural wildlife, connected via wooded trails, and capped with clear skies, the Centre leaves those who attend or visit feeling refreshed, revitalised and recentered. Immersed in nature, one can’t help but feel closer to God.

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Can you help?

We are excited to introduce Family Foundations Institute’s (FFI) Capital Campaign, Space to Grow: securing an ideal place for families to flourish, now and in the future.

With a goal of $1,250,000 in donations committed over 5 years, FFI will complete the purchase of the John Paul II Family Centre in Port Burwell and establish a fund for site improvements. The vision? An outpouring of God’s grace and blessings upon countless families interacting in a beautiful natural space intended both for their enjoyment and development.

When Vicki and I moved to London, Ontario, over 22 years ago, Family Catechism coordinated by FFI played an important role in the growth of our family. With our 4 kids now married, they continue to practice their Catholic faith with their own families, thanks be to God! Together, we’ve experienced catechism, camps and conferences, and these initiatives continue to keep us connected. Additionally, by meeting other families through these initiatives, God has blessed us with lasting friendships and provided answers to questions we couldn’t have answered on our own.

The John Paul II Family Centre is an ideal space for family enriching programs and events. The 13-acre site includes a main hall, commercial kitchen, cabins, washrooms, showers, pool, playground, trails and a beach volleyball court. We believe this kind of space creates endless possibilities and provides important sustainability for the significant task of strengthening the family. Please review the enclosed brochure to learn more about the site and what it has to offer.

“The future of humanity passes by way of the family” (John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 86). Many years ago, we said yes to getting involved with FFI programs and events and the blessings have been abundant. Strong families are important because they champion what is right and true. The Centre is more than just a campsite, retreat centre, or conference venue. The John Paul II Family Centre is a space for families to grow.

As we start to gain momentum with this campaign, we ask for your prayers and financial generosity.


Michael Whelan
Campaign Chair

Be recognized for your gift!

Outdoor Giving Tree

Platinum ($50,000), Gold ($20,000), Silver ($10,000), and Bronze ($5,000)

Virtue Naming Rights*

Main Hall ($250,000), Mini Hall ($75,000), One of Four Cabins ($25,000)

*Virtues: justice, fortitude, prudence, temperance, courage, patience, kindness, cheerfulness, generosity, gentleness.

John Paul II Family Centre

6679 Woodworth Road Port Burwell, ON N0J 1T0

Embedded in the still silence of rural Southwestern Ontario, near the spectacular beaches of Lake Erie and adventurous canoe routes of the Otter Creek.


Mini hall
Main hall
Sports field

Tent sites & fire pit
Swimming pool
Volleyball court
Gravel parking lot
Commercial kitchen

Main Hall

Full capacity for 160 people, seats 120 people at tables and chairs. Facility is wheelchair accessible, fully winterized and has air conditioning.

Kitchen: Walk-in fridge, separate entrance for easy food deliveries, large freezer space, pantry storage, industrial grade kitchen sink, dishwasher, grill, and two convection ovens.

Washrooms & Showers: Men’s and women’s washrooms complete with sinks, toilet stalls and showers. Additional washroom for family/staff.

Cabin Complex

4 large buildings situated several hundred feet from the main hall. Each building has 3 separate rooms for a total of 12 cabins. 8 of the cabins house 12 single bunks; 4 of the cabins are smaller and house 4 single bunks. Each bunk has a vinyl mattress. The cabins are winterized and equipped with electricity.

Mini Hall

Located steps away from the cabins, the winterized mini hall has 3 single washrooms with showers. It also includes a 50-person capacity meeting room with fridge, microwave and audio-visual equipment.

Outdoor Activities

13 acres of peaceful park-like land provide space for sports, entertainment, and gatherings. Complimenting this space is a covered beach volleyball court, fire pit, and a 25,000-gallon in-ground pool (fully gated). The pool deck is spacious and includes benches and chairs.

The John Paul II Family Centre is available to rent for group or family events. Click here to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gifts can be made in a variety of ways: cash, cheque, electronic fund transfer (EFT), and credit card. Gifts can be made as a one-time total amount, or a commitment can be made over 5 years. Contact Sarah at to set up your campaign gift!

$1,000,000 purchase price of the John Paul II Family Centre plus $50,000 legal/tax cost, and a final $200,000 capital fund to cover improvements at the Centre for the next 5 years.

Family Foundations Institute (FFI), a registered charity governed by a Board of Directors will own the Centre and be responsible for all costs associated with the operation and maintenance. FFI has successfully operated the John Paul II Family Centre for the past 3 years through a long-term lease arrangement.

FFI believes their camping programs are an essential service to families. Youth camps provide a natural space for young people to grow in faith, character and friendship while family camps provide a joy-filled and positive vacation environment of like-minded families. In addition to these camping programs, FFI also believes retreats in a natural setting provide participants with the opportunity for beneficial growth in spiritual and mental wellness.

Ownership ensures that the priceless experience and high quality of camping programs and other events remains consistent, affordable, and reliable for families in the long term.

Anticipated maintenance jobs have been included in this capital campaign.

No, we do not foresee another capital campaign in the next 5 years.

Yes, and depending on the amount of your taxable income you may be eligible for a return of up to 46% of the gift amount.