Betty Anne Millar
Joseph Brant Hospital has been a part of Betty Anne Millar's life for over 40 years. Betty Anne and her husband Murray settled in Burlington 48 years ago. As a resident of the ever growing Burlington community, Betty Anne knows how important it is to have a world class hospital to serve our community’s needs.
Betty Anne has also served volunteer terms on both the Hospital Board of Governors and the Foundation Board of Directors, including having played an instrumental role in raising the initial capital to establish the Foundation through a community fundraiser.
Like many in our community, Betty Anne also has a more personal connection to Joseph Brant Hospital. It was September 2012, as Betty Anne was sitting in the Family Room of the ICU, reality hit her with the recognition that her life was about to change forever. Her husband, Murray, was in the Intensive Care Unit and passed away three days later. For Betty Anne, supporting the Our New Era Campaign is a way to honour her husband.
"After donating The Quiet Room in the ICU in memory of Murray, I decided to donate The Family Room as well,” said Betty Anne. "This was a unique opportunity to donate in each of our names and have two adjoining rooms that will provide comfort to friends and families when their loved ones are ill.”
After Murray’s passing, Betty Anne began to think about how she could continue to support Joseph Brant Hospital after she is no longer here. It was at this time that she decided to leave a more meaningful gift in her will to benefit the Hospital. Betty Anne wanted to ensure that future generations will continue to receive the very best care, while remaining close to home.
"I have committed a Transformational Gift in my estate plans to our new Hospital,” she said. "I encourage others to consider a gift to the Our New Era Campaign. It is an investment in our Community for future generations. There is truly no other place a legacy gift will have such an impact on our entire city.”
Today, Betty Anne continues to volunteer her time to the Hospital. For the past six years, she has been coming to the Hospital for weekly pastoral care visits with patients and their families.
“I hear from so many patients who are filled with gratitude for the care they are receiving at Joseph Brant. Time and time again, I hear from these families that the staff at Joseph Brant Hospital are some of the most caring and respectful people. It is these individuals that help make the Hospital such a special place.”
For more information about making a legacy gift, please click here.
When Thane Munn was diagnosed with cancer, his approach was pragmatic and no-nonsense. He strived to maintain normalcy in his life, and the lives of his family.
“He did not want the cancer diagnosis to define him. He wanted to beat it and move on,” explained his wife Kathryn.
Through his treatment, Thane came to appreciate the quality of care provided by the staff at the Joseph Brant Hospital Cancer Clinic.
“He wanted people to know about the great works that the clinic did, and continues to do,” said Kathryn. “He was always praising the clinic team – staff and volunteers alike – for their professionalism, compassion, sincerity, and humanness. They became akin to family members.”
Thane firmly believed in giving back to the community. He volunteered as often as he could. He was heavily involved in the Burlington Eagles Hockey Club, and joined his friends Angelo and Diane Bentivegna as an original member of the organizing committee for the Beauty and the Bistro; Be Our Guests, Save Our Breasts Event. The event went on to raise $450,000 over three years to purchase a digital mammography machine with biopsy attachment for Joseph
Having seen first-hand the impact that a cancer diagnosis and treatment can have on an individual and their family, Thane saw the benefits of early diagnosis and quality care and the impact that this technology could have in the lives of so many people.
While undergoing bi-weekly chemotherapy treatments, Thane asked his wife Kathryn to bake cookies for the staff as a thank you for their ongoing work and support. Shortly after, when he learned that funding to provide cookies to the patients and their families was no longer available, he stepped up and provided the necessary annual financial support to ensure the patients’ cookies continued to be available, a proud tradition that Kathryn, and their children
Zachary and Jessica continue.
“For Thane, the cookies provided a perk – a little something to keep the patients occupied and provide a sense of normalcy for them in an otherwise stressful situation, which was very important to him,” said Kathryn.
Over the years, Thane became a familiar face around JBH, and a dear friend and advocate of the Foundation. Known for his “big bear” personality and dry sense of humour, he often attended and spoke at events, helping to raise money for the Foundation by sharing his patient experience and encouraging others to support their community hospital.
After a courageous battle, Thane passed away in June 2015, but his spirit and commitment continue to live on through a legacy gift to the Foundation to be directed to capital improvements to be made to the Cancer Clinic as part of the Redevelopment and Expansion project.
Thane explained his decision to support the new Hospital project to Kathryn very clearly.
“I’m someone who planned and built schools for more than twenty years, Thane explained. I’m a capital works guy”, she said.
For Thane, Kathryn, Zachary and Jessica, continued support of Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation is about understanding and improving the patient experience, and the experience for their family.
“If our support can in some way – however small – make the next patient’s experience less frightening, less stressful and more comforting, educational, and efficient – then it is worth it,” said Kathryn.
An Evening of Song
For Dr. Brendan Chiu, supporting the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation was a way to give back to the community which has supported him for so long. He first joined Joseph Brant Hospital in 1973, and has seen first-hand the changes in the community.
"Burlington is expanding, and now the hospital is expanding, too,” he said. "I'm excited to see we are getting a new hospital.”
For Dr. Chiu and his wife Katherine, their son Stephen's passion for singing was their inspiration for an event in support of the Foundation. The Chiu's hosted An Evening of Song at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre in October 2014.
The event featured Stephen performing songs from Les Misérables to Michael Bublé.
"I was so happy to get a chance to see him perform in tha setting,” said Dr. Chiu. "He really showed he's a performer."
The evening saw over 440 people come out, raising more than $20,000 for the Foundation. And while it was a lot of effort personally for Dr. Chiu, he was able to fulfill his lifelong dream of seeing his son perform.
Dr. Chiu proudly displays a story about the event, and photos of his son on stage in his medical office on Guelph Line, but it was the feedback from those who attended which make him the most proud.
"Months later, I was approached in the parking lot of the bank, and someone told me they attended the event and wanted to say thank you, and tell me how impressed they were,” he said. "It made my day to hear that.”
For Dr. Chiu, supporting Joseph Brant Hospital was an easy decision, and a family affair and he encourages others to think about how they can support our local Hospital.
"We were quite happy to give a hand and help out to some degree,” he said. "It all starts with the thought ‘Maybe I can do something – it doesn't have to be a big thing.”
For videos from An Evening of Song, visit: https://www.youtube.com/user/lovetosingforfun/videos
Inspired by her parents from a young age, Kaitlyn Wilson has learned the importance of giving back. For Kaitlyn, the secret to success is simple; helping others can be easy, especially if it involves something you already love to do.
As an avid volleyball player and coach, Kaitlyn wanted to turn her passion into something that could also benefit others. Kaitlyn decided to organize a beach volleyball tournament for her friends, and at the same time raise money for a cause dear to her. Her event has continued to grow and is now known as the Annual Charity Beach Volleyball Classic. Thanks to Kaitlyn's efforts, our Hospital has been the beneficiary of funds raised from the Classic for the past five years.
When asked about her motivation for turning a fun volleyball tournament into a charity event, Kaitlyn explained that it was an simple decision and a great fit. Being a philanthropist is about doing something that that you are genuinely passionate about and helping others.
Perhaps the most significant contribution that Kaitlyn has made is in how she has inspired others. Showing her friends that they can have fun while supporting an important cause, and she has encouraged them to organize other events such as; annual soccer and golf tournaments benefiting other local charities. Kaitlyn's continued commitment is helping to Build a stronger Community and future generous philanthropists.
"I believe Joseph Brant Hospital is one of the most important organizations in our Community. The health and wellness of our family, friends and fellow residents relies on the resources at the Hospital. I want to do my part to show how lucky I have been to have a healthy and happy family, and support those who are in need. It is my hope that everyone in our Community will support Joseph Brant Hospital and so that they will be able to continue to provide world-class health care at home.”
Each McHappy Day, Ralph and Susan Sgro donate the proceeds raised in their Burlington and Waterdown McDonald's locations to Joseph Brant Hospital's Maternal & Child Program.
"One of the core values of McDonald's is giving back to the Community where you work and live,” said Susan.
Since 1988, the Sgro's have actively and generously supported Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation. In that time, the Hospital's Special Care Nursery, Maternal and Child Family Sitting Room, Ambulatory Care program, Nina's Place, the Critical Needs Fund and the Tomorrow is Here Capital Campaign have all benefited from their philanthropy.
The Sgro's also continue their leadership support through the Our New Era Campaign, with Ralph taking a leadership role as Vice Chair of its Campaign Cabinet.
"At one time or another, we're all going to use the Hospital, so it's wonderful to be part of the redevelopment,” said Susan.
Helping to shape and build our Community is linked to quality health care for the Sgro's.
"There's a lot of pleasure in seeing the results of contributing to the Community,” said Ralph. "I think letting individuals know the importance of good health care is probably the most important thing we can do for our Community.”