THUNDER BAY – HEALTH – What convinces an organization to give so generously to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation for over 20 years?
“It’s at the centre of the community,” says Michael Rigato, Vice-President and Chief Distribution Officer, Wealth & Estate Planning Group, London Life. “Simply put, we’re committed to making a difference in the communities where we live and do business, and there’s no better way for us to help improve our community’s well-being than through support of the Health Sciences Foundation.”
Great-West Life and its subsidiaries, London Life and Canada Life, are building stronger communities together with their continued support. Their focus is on helping communities across Canada, with an emphasis on education, health and wellness, arts, social services and community development. From event sponsorship to campaign support, their total contributions to the Foundation total over $300,000.
Recently Rigato, along with Tom Mihaljevic, Director, Business Development at Freedom 55 Financial (the financial security planning division of London Life) and Board Director, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation, visited the Health Sciences Centre to celebrate the long-standing support from Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life.
“I think what it boils down to is that when our companies choose to make a gift, we’re truly taking care of our community,” says Mihaljevic.
Adds Rigato, “Our gifts to the Health Sciences Centre fund medical equipment essential to the care of so many.”
So just how has this organization supported local health care?
Thanks to the involvement and support from staff, management and advisors of London Life and Freedom 55 Financial, the long-standing London Life Frank Cava Memorial Golf Tournament recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. Over that time, the tournament donated more than $457,000 to local charities, including more than $184,000 to the Northern Cardiac Fund, Northern Cancer Fund and other important areas of the Health Sciences Centre. Celebrating Frank Cava, the tournament continues to be a much-loved and much-anticipated summer-time event.
Another well-known tournament that wrapped up in 2014 after nine successful years was the Freedom 55 Financial Thunder Bay Hockey Celebrity Golf Classic. This tournament raised $307,510 for the Northern Cancer Fund to support essential cancer care equipment purchases at the Health Sciences Centre. Not only was financial support provided, but staff, management and advisors from the Thunder Bay office of Freedom 55 Financial dedicated their time and enthusiasm as organizers, volunteers and leaders to ensure the success of the event.
Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life have also supported the Foundation through various campaigns, including the Cardiac/MRI Campaign, and recently the Exceptional Cancer Care Campaign. The campaign raised money to purchase equipment for radiation therapy, MicroPET for research, Cyclotron for isotope production for PET imaging and research, and Integrated Cancer Screening Coach to produce enhanced access to cancer screening services for people across Northwestern Ontario.
“It is our privilege to contribute to elevating care to a level that one would expect from a big city,” says Rigato. “Making a difference here, and touching our entire community – in my mind, there’s no better way we could give than with gifts supporting the Health Sciences Centre.”