Colonel James Riley Stone, CM, OMM, DSO, CD, was the founder of the Military Police Fund for Blind Children (MPFBC), which had its humble beginnings in 1957. Colonel Stone was the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry when his daughter Moira was afflicted with cancer of the eye, resulting in eventual blindness and death at the age of seven. During his daughter’s illness, Colonel Stone came into contact with organizations that were struggling to help blind children. He became aware that there were many other blind children less fortunate than his daughter who were unable, through lack of money, to enjoy some of the simpler things in life. Their plight affected him tremendously and he was determined to help them in every way he could. Also during this time period, he was appointed as the Canadian Army Provost Marshal (Military Police). He canvassed members of the Military Police, asking them to voluntarily contribute one or two dollars per year and using their donations, established a Fund to help blind children under the age of 13 years.
As a consequence of Colonel Stone’s enthusiasm, the Military Police Fund for Blind Children was established. Issued with a Letter of Patent on October 18, 1976 and a Trust Agreement on October 27, 1977 the Military Police Fund for Blind Children was established as a Charitable Corporation (number -164763) in accordance with Part II of the Canada Corporations Act. This Act, which is administered by the Corporations Directorate of Industry Canada, provides instruction on the establishment and operation of not-for-profit Corporations as well as the framework for by-laws of which the MPFBC must adhere.
One of the very notable aspects of the Blind Fund is that it is run and managed totally by Military Police volunteers. It remains unique in Canada, as the only official authorized ‘military’ charity in the country. Members of the Military Police, including other military and civilian community members, become personally involved in fund raising activities for the Blind Fund. They involve themselves with funding recipients, visit visually impaired children in many different environments, and invite them to Canadian Forces bases to learn more about the Canadian Military.
In every Military Police unit, regardless of size or geographic location, you will find a Blind Fund representative. These volunteers are responsible for the coordination of fund-raising activities and identifying children or organizations which could benefit from MPFBC assistance
The fund is run by a Board of Directors, inclusive of all ranks within the Military Police, which supervise the management of the Fund’s activities. In accordance with Letters Patent and as amended by the Board of Directors, the objectives of the Corporation are:
The MPFBC is an activity that continues to proudly promote the involvement of Military Police in the community. Volunteers from the Canadian Forces Military Police continue to exercise stewardship in the Fund’s continued success.