Tom Trenouth was the best kind of guy. The kind who knew everybody’s name and made them all feel welcome. He always had a smile. So, when Tom lost his life to mental illness in 2013, his colleagues were in shock.
It did not take long for them to go from disbelief to action. They knew they had to do something. What they did started as symbolic. Home Trust renamed their corporate golf tournament in Tom’s honour and the Tom Trenouth Charity Golf Tournament was born. But that rebrand would soon become more than just a symbol. Tom’s son, Brennan Trenouth, has been at Home Trust for 11 years. He says, “The tournament would grow to change the mentality around mental health and bring awareness across the whole industry. And I truly believe the work that we’re doing is helping a lot of Canadians.”
This year, Home Trust’s tournament hit the 10-year milestone and crossed the $1 million threshold. All the proceeds from the tournament go to the Canadian Mental Health Association, and then Home Trust matches that amount.
Carla Dorland, Home Trust’s Director, Events and Corporate Marketing, describes the tournament’s popularity: “It doesn’t just attract people from the industry. Competitors get involved, and so do suppliers. It sells out in seconds. And I’m not exaggerating. People ask in advance, can you make sure I get in?”
And they don’t just come for the golf. While many people participate in honour of Tom Trenouth, others who didn’t know him come for the cause.
Yousry Bissada, Home Trust’s CEO and President, says. “At this tournament, we don’t even talk about mortgages or Home Trust or the market. We talk about the Canadian Mental Health Association. We talk about mental health.”
Tom’s legacy extends far beyond the tournament. As Yousry puts it, “Tom’s death heightened the senses of the entire company, and the mental health cause has become part of our DNA.”
Home Trust understands that mental health is part of health. So it’s not just a fundraising event. It is cultural.
The culture means that their employees feel comfortable reaching out for help. Like a member of Carla’s team who messaged her one morning to say, “I can’t people today. I can’t be in the office.” Or the member of the executive team who wrote to say his daughter was having terrible anxiety. Yousry’s answer was the same: “Stay home and take care. Do what you need to do.”
Meanwhile, at the Tom Trenouth Charity Golf Tournament every September, Brennan Trenouth always has the last word. He says: “It is okay not to be okay.” And you know that it’s okay for Brennan because Home Trust has his back.
CMHA is deeply grateful to the passionate and dedicated team at Home Trust for supporting CMHA’s core work for ten years, helping more Canadians get the support they need.