BABC Member’s Legacy: Toby Wallace

In July 2013, the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia lost a dear member and friend, Toby Wallace, Senior Relationship Manager, Endowments & Foundations at Aberdeen Asset Management. Toby was an active member who helped launch and lead the BABC’s Young Professionals Group (YPG). Exactly two years ago our human interest feature article was about Toby and his remarkable journey crossing the Atlantic Ocean unsupported in a specially designed boat, Titan. Rowing day and night, Toby and his team of seven other men completed the rigorous crossing, narrowly missing the record of 32 days. Titan was recently re-named the Toby Wallace in his honor for its next record attempt – which was just completed in March 2014 and it now holds the record for the second fastest crossing in history. Auspiciously, the rededication ceremony took place on Toby’s birthday. Click here to view pictures of the newly named vessel.

The 2014 crew of the Toby Wallace raised money for the Kirsten Scott Memorial Trust (an organization the BABC has donated to in the past) in support of Toby’s fundraising efforts – the very cause for which he was cycling the length of Britain the day the tragic accident took his life. The renaming of the boat and the subsequent crossing is just one of many examples of how, even posthumously, Toby continues to help those in need.

Standing tall at six feet seven inches, Toby’s constant desire for outward bound activities requiring tremendous strength and willpower made him seem almost superhuman. A true outdoorsman, a successful international business executive whose career at the young age of 36 had already spanned three continents, and a humanitarian, Toby worked diligently to improve the lives of youngsters throughout the globe. As quoted in a previous BABC profile, Toby said he hoped to assist the BABC YPG in “supporting the local community with a focus on education, mentoring and influencing young people’s lives.”

Toby volunteered for many organizations, including the Duke of Edinburgh Award Program. Himself a “Duke,” Toby supported the local Chapter of the organization, ushering children through a process to recognize their potential through building skills, physical recreation and community service. Toby also supported buildOn, a US charity endorsed by the Aberdeen Charitable Foundation. Recently, a group of friends in the area established the “Friends of Toby Wallace” group in Toby’s memory. This group (which includes Toby’s wife, Claire) is collaborating with buildOn to raise money to build a school in Malawi and to send a group of local Center City school pupils on the journey of a lifetime to participate in the project. This was a special effort that Toby had been pursuing, and with the backing of his loving family, friends and colleagues, and the sponsorship of Aberdeen Asset Management, it is hoped that this project will be seen through to fruition.

The BABC is proud to support Aberdeen Asset Management and Toby’s friends and family in perpetuating his legacy of creating opportunities and enhancing the lives of young people. All net revenue from our annual BABC YPG Spring event, taking place on April 30th, will be donated to Science Leadership Academy’s 2014 cross-cultural exchange program to Liverpool, England. Science Leadership Academy (SLA) is a public school in Center City Philadelphia with a diverse student body (some of them Dukes, like Toby). Supporting SLA students’ opportunity to travel outside the region and engage with peers abroad as part of a global learning program is something Toby’s YPG Co-lead successors and we believe he would have supported.

Toby’s positive energy, good nature and dedication live on through the many charitable efforts underway to further his legacy. The BABC is truly honored to share these important fundraising initiatives with you and to ask you to help us spread the word and raise awareness. Links to donate in memory of Toby and in support of young people are provided above in the body of this article for your information and convenience.

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