Peter Kalbfleisch: Championing Community Engagement through KW Legacy in Ontario

It often takes a small idea or small group of people to spark something that has a lasting impact. Peter Kalbfleisch, a Vice Principal from Ontario, remembers being there for the spark that created KW Legacy, a Waterloo-area charity that’s grown into one of the largest in the region. 

I was a founding member of KW Legacy back in 2014, along with a bunch of other guys from the Waterloo region who I grew up with,” says Peter. “Many of us have stuck around to build our careers and raise our families here and we were at a place in our lives where we were looking for a way to give back.”

Peter and his friends conceived of fundraising events that have now become an annual tradition for the community. Two of the most successful, Golf for Scholarships and Top Home Chef, had their most successful events to date this past year.

“In my role as co-chair of the first two Top Home Chef events in ’18 and ’19, I helped put together a great team to execute it, including recruiting the chefs and celebrity judges and securing the venue. We’re proud to say we’ve raised a combined $148,000 for the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council

The older of the two events, Golf for Scholarships, raises money for leadership awards given to local secondary school students.

“It’s hard to believe that in 9 years we’ve given out 82 of these scholarships through our annual event, which translates to nearly $1 million in charitable donations. On the surface, it’s a fun day of kinship and golfing, but the ripple effect goes so much further and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this amazing charity.”

At the heart of Peter’s contributions lies a belief in the potential of every individual to make a meaningful difference. His leadership within KW Legacy has been instrumental in spearheading various programs that address diverse needs within the community. From initiatives focused on youth empowerment and education to projects aimed at supporting vulnerable populations, Peter’s vision has been pivotal in shaping impactful strategies and fostering collaboration among volunteers and stakeholders.

Peter’s infectious enthusiasm and concern for the well-being of others resonate with the community, attracting individuals from all walks of life to be involved. Under his guidance, KW Legacy has witnessed incredible participation from volunteers and donors, creating a vibrant network of individuals with a passion to make a difference.

Peter’s leadership style, both within KW Legacy and as a school administrator, is defined by empathy, inclusivity, and a steadfast commitment to listening to the voices of those directly affected by challenges. He understands the importance of creating avenues for dialogue and actively involving students and stakeholders in decision-making processes. 

By fostering alliances with community members, KW Legacy has been able to leverage resources more effectively, maximize impact, and broaden its reach, ultimately benefiting a larger segment of the population. Peter’s goal is to create a network of lifelong leaders and learners who can lean on each other for support.

“One of the most valuable pieces of advice I can give is to surround yourself with people who have similar goals and aspirations as you. Choose to be around people who can help you grow. If you’re a leader, find other leaders to be around. I think when you’re around that culture of leadership or success, you will be brought along in the flow. Those are the kinds of connections we want to make with KW Legacy.”

As we look to the future, Peter Kalbfleisch’s role in creating KW Legacy serves as an inspiring reminder of the remarkable impact that dedicated citizens can have on their communities