The Cherry Tree

The Wallace F. Toronto Foundation’s logo is a stylized cherry tree.  In classical literature and mythology, the cherry tree symbolizes edification, unity, and shared abundance.

In the 1940’s, when the foundation’s namesake, Wallace F. Toronto, lived in Prague he and his young family lived in a large, inviting home in a quiet corner of the city.  In their yard was a grand cherry tree that, in many ways, was the center of activity not only for the family but for the entire neighborhood.

In addition to being a place for local children to climb and play in the summertime, the family would entertain guests in the shade of that majestic tree.  In post-war times, with fresh fruits and vegetables in short supply, a generous helping of cherries from the Toronto’s tree was offered to visitors that came calling or to neighbors that happened to pass by.  In later years, Mrs. Toronto recalled, “that lovely cherry tree held a lot of happy memories, and to us it symbolized home and a place of refuge.”  To read about the Toronto families’ experiences in Czechoslovakia in Martha Toronto’s autobiography titled “A Cherry Tree Behind the Iron Curtain”, click here.

The cherry tree provided fruit in a small but substantial way for many.  In the same way, the Wallace F. Toronto Foundation works in small but meaningful ways to contribute to community-based educational, goodwill, and humanitarian projects in the Czech and Slovak Republics.