Sighted: one six-seat, environmentally-friendly Village Club Car painted York-red zipping around campus. If you see it, wave “Hello” and fear not, York is not becoming a golf course. Instead, the club car, donated to the York University Foundation by philanthropist Joseph Kostman, provides an environmentally friendly means of transporting visitors and special guests across York’s Keele campus.
Above: From left to right, front row, Paul Marcus, Joseph Kostman. Back seats, Cathy Cupani, Elaine Botnick-Mann and David Narine.
Kostman, a retired accountant, has donated many vehicles to various agencies of the United Way of Greater Toronto and the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto. When his wife Rachel was alive, the couple decided they would help organizations in unique ways to enhance mobility, especially for individuals coping with physical challenges. Ever since, they have provided gifts to organizations that allow for improved mobility and transportation. It is a tradition that Kostman has continued following the death of his wife, and one which he said gives him great pleasure and satisfaction. In fact, the donation of the Village Club Car to York University, said Kostman, has been the most fun and unique donation he has ever made to an organization.
“In recent years it’s been my privilege to contribute to many worthy causes,” he said. “I was gratified that the York University Foundation afforded me the opportunity to participate in the acquisition of a very special vehicle that will serve York campus’ transportation needs.”
The environmentally friendly car travels at an optimal speed of 25 km per hour. Fully electric, the club car is recharged nightly in its permanent home in the York Lanes indoor parking garage.
“This is a gift that will be put to great use by the York community,” says Paul Marcus, president and CEO of the York University Foundation. “We are so grateful to Mr. Kostman for continuing his distinctive style of philanthropy here at York.”
The club car will primarily be used to provide tours of the campus for visitors, especially those guests who cannot walk comfortably for long distances. On a recent tour, Kostman marvelled at the size of the Keele campus and was assured of the necessity of his gift.
“Knowing that my gift will be used by so many people is very fulfilling,” he says. “That’s my life’s work, to give something back.”