I Give Because

Carol Kirsh

Ask Carol Kirsh why she became involved in Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) and she will tell you that it started with love for her late husband Roy Abrahamson. His son, Dr. John Abrahamson is MGH Chief of Medicine and Roy was understandably proud of all John’s accomplishments.

 John and his wife, Marlene, live in the hospital’s catchment area and their daughters Katlin and Meghan were born at the hospital. As a way to celebrate John’s dedication and commitment to MGH as well as to acknowledge the important role of the hospital in the life of her family, Carol established The Abrahamson Family Endowment Fund in the Foundation to support ongoing hospital work.

 Ask Carol Kirsh why she decided to leave a gift in her will to Michael Garron Hospital and her answer is simple – “I have been blessed in my life. It is a privilege to be able to share what I have to support the doctors and all staff of this wonderful hospital.  It is a way to honour the Abrahamson family that would make Roy proud.”

 Carol says she and Roy understood the importance of leaving charitable gifts in one’s will very early on.  Decades ago they founded The Canadian Donor’s Guide. This annual publication continues to assist individuals to leave legacies to charities by connecting donors and charities at the time individuals are writing their wills.

 In addition to being a generous donor, Carol is also the volunteer concert music programmer for the hospital’s World of Music Festival. Throughout the year, the festival provides free lunch hour concerts at the hospital which showcase and celebrate the musical soul of the diverse peoples who live and work in the community.

 Through her involvement with Michael Garron Hospital, Carol says she has come to see it as, “one of the leading community hospitals in Canada; it is about real life, frontline community medicine. The staff embody some of the best of what Canada has to offer – providing an open and supportive environment while delivering high quality, compassionate medical care to the diverse community that it serves”. 

 “Leaving a gift in one’s will to Michael Garron Hospital or any other deserving organization is something everyone who can, should do!”

If you would like more information on how you can include MGH in your will, or if you have already left a gift in your will to MGH, please contact Debbie Owen, Planned Giving Officer, at dowen@tegh.on.ca or 416-469-6580 ext 2161.

Patricia Stark

I give because... they treated James with incredible care! Patricia Stark and the late James Stark

Meeting in the early years of their teaching careers, Patricia and James Stark had a storybook romance. For 34 years they did everything together – travelled the world, shared their love of teaching and even opened a small vintage jewellery and glass business – living and working all their married life in east Toronto.

It is no surprise that when James needed medical treatment, Michael Garron Hospital was the place to go.  When James was admitted for the last time to the Intensive Care Unit, Patricia was at his side every day.  Just as Patricia and James had made an enormous impact on the students who came through their classrooms, the kindness and compassion demonstrated by the team of doctors and nurses at MGH made a powerful impact on Patricia.

“For five months and twenty days, the staff in the ICU treated James with incredible care.  They would let me visit at all hours of the day.  They made me feel welcome, listened to my concerns and allowed me to be an advocate for my husband.”

After James passed away, Patricia recognized the Hospital needed individual financial support to continue delivering outstanding care.  Wanting to help, but also wanting to preserve her income and capital, Patricia decided to revisit her Will and leave a Bequest to Michael Garron Hospital.  Her gift will go to the Intensive Care Unit to ensure that doctors and nurses will always have the best medical equipment to help patients in need. 

While she deeply misses James and the wonderful life they shared together, Patricia is still the vibrant and spirited woman who spent many years making a difference in the lives of students.  She may no longer influence young minds (in the classroom), but through her generous gift to MGH, Patricia has made a lasting impact on the health care of our community.

For more information on leaving a gift in your Will to Michael Garron Hospital, please contact Debbie Owen, Planned Giving Officer at 416.469.6580 Ext. 2161 or by email at dowen@tegh.on.ca.

If you have already included us in your Will, please call Debbie and let her know.


Brian & Betsy Jones

I give because... we want to give back to our local community!

Brian and Betsy JonesIt wasn’t long after Brian M. Jones hopped onto the Queen Street streetcar to pick up Betsy (Elizabeth) for their first date, that he came to love the Toronto Beach community.

More than 40-years later, Brian, a semi-retired chartered accountant, and Betsy, a retired teacher and life-long Beach resident, have worked, raised a family and built a wide network of friends throughout the lakefront community.

The two are an inspiring team – volunteering and supporting several local charities and non-profit organizations, including Michael Garron Hospital.

After donating to the hospital for more than 20 years, Brian and Betsy decided to make a planned gift.

“It comes down to the local community,” says Brian. “As a long-time Beach resident, the hospital has been there for our family, friends and the community. We feel that a bequest is an opportunity to recognize the help the hospital has provided throughout our life – and to provide some help back. Also, it allows us to give a larger gift than what we may be able to afford on an annual basis.”

Throughout his career in accounting, Brian has often encouraged clients to consider making a bequest to local institutions or charities in recognition of the important role they play within communities. He also cites the tax advantage to clients looking for savings, saying it represents a tax deduction of almost half.

Before Brian switched his career focus to accounting, he studied chemistry and nuclear magnetic resonance (MNR). His scientific background has given him a deeper appreciation for medical advances made in the past few decades, as well as the importance of donor support to advance costly research initiatives needed to advance new and better treatments and patient care.

“Michael Garron Hospital has become a leading innovator in medical research and development,” says Brian. “It’s impressive, but not inexpensive. The hospital depends heavily on community support.”

Brian and Betsy’s two youngest sons, Chris and Graham, continue to work and live in the community. Now married, they may one day rely on the hospital for their own families. If Brian and Betsy’s eldest son, Craig, (who was born at Michael Garron Hospital), decides to return to Toronto from California, they expect he’ll live in the community in which he was raised.

For Brian and Betsy, great patient care close to home will remain as critical in the future, as it is today.

For more information on leaving a bequest to Michael Garron Hospital, please contact Debbie Owen our Planned Giving Officer at 416-469-6580 ext. 2161 or by email at dowen@tegh.on.ca.

If you have already included us in your Will please call Debbie and let her know.


Aileen Pollock

I give because... I want to leave the world a better place.

Having worked most of her life as a financial advisor, Aileen Pollock decided it was time to give some thought to her own estate planning and what sort of legacy she wanted to leave.

Having lost her mother to Alzheimer's in July 2006, geriatric care was something that was especially close to Aileen's heart and she wanted to find a way to address the need for geriatric care within her community.

After getting in touch with the Foundation to discuss her vision, Aileen arranged to make a planned gift to MGH.

"Michael Garron is my local Hospital." Aileen shares, "They brought me into this world and I've been going to them for most of my life. It's an excellent Hospital and by giving to them, I hope to leave the world a better place."

Aileen also had some very good advice to share with you. "I'm in the business of advising clients, so I always tell them to name a favorite charity in their will to offset the huge tax dollars to be paid. That way the money goes to charity, instead of the government benefiting from it. It's just good estate planning and I personally feel really good knowing that my legacy will make a difference."


For more information on leaving a bequest to Michael Garron Hospital please contact Debbie Owen our Planned Giving Officer at 416-469-6580 ext. 2161 or by email at dowen@tegh.on.ca.

If you have already included us in your Will please call Debbie and let her know.