2020 Vaughan Honouree
Rosanne Longo is the Spokesperson for Longo’s and Chair of the Longo’s Family Charitable Foundation.
Longo’s began in 1956, just five short years after the family arrived in Canada from Sicily, Italy. Helping others in their community was first inspired by the founders’ mother, Rosa Longo. Back in Italy, with very little money and six children to feed, she would always find a way to bake extra loaves of bread and take some to the orphanage in their hometown. Today, three generations later, Longo’s is still a family-owned and operated business, now employing over 6,300 team members and serving thirty-seven locations and giving back remains a pillar of their culture.
At present, there are twenty-three family members working in the business and many more at large who are involved in the foundation and participate in various community events and volunteer opportunities. There are several projects that stand out to Rosanne. Longo’s has been a major sponsor of the Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer (RHCC) since its inception in 2011, in memory of Tommy Longo and others who have been touched by cancer. As of 2019, they’ve raised over one million dollars for RHCC. They also host their Neighbour-in-Need event twice a year, where team members are invited to volunteer a few hours to pack bags of highly essential items for local food banks. Worth a special mention too, they’ve been hosting their annual golf tournament since 1990 and have raised over $4.3 million.
The Longo motto is to help where they can, simply because it’s the right thing to do. Rosanne says their family has been very blessed to have had their hardworking relatives come from Italy and build roots in Canada. It gave each of them the opportunity to raise their own families with this beautiful influence and tradition, access higher education, and build successful businesses in many communities around the GTA. For this, they are truly grateful and share a responsibility to give back to those communities and to act as leaders to inspire others to give back as well.
Rosanne says that it’s always a humbling experience to meet people who have been impacted by the organizations they invest in. The challenges these individuals face always put things in perspective and remind us of the importance to help in ways that are meaningful and impactful. Giving doesn’t always have to be monetary either, she shares, fondly recalling the example of their matriarch. There are so many ways for an individual and families to get involved. Volunteer one’s skill or time. Sit on committees or boards. The most important part is simply to be passionate about the cause.
Rosanne also currently serves on the board of ErinoakKids, the largest treatment centre in Ontario.