Philanthropists Charles and Margaret Juravinski have made a new gift of $3.3 million to accelerate COVID-19-related and brain health research as part of the newly formed Juravinski Research Institute in Hamilton.
Last spring the couple created an endowment of $100 million or more to support collaborative research across Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. Their estate commitment is one of Canada’s largest ever planned legacy gifts and established the Juravinski Research Institute. Charles and Margaret explained this latest gift in an open letter:
Last spring, we made a big decision, one that has brought us immense happiness and satisfaction.
Back on May 29, we announced, in the same way we are writing to you today, that we would be leaving a legacy gift for health research in Hamilton, an endowment that we anticipate will be worth about $100 million by the time both of us have died.
That gift represents the bulk of our eventual estate, and is expected to generate up to $5 million annually, to be shared equally by Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, working as partners on projects that they determine to be priorities.
We are very pleased to see how the partners have organized their plans for making use of this gift, working together under the banner of the Juravinski Research Institute.
Today, we are writing again, to share what we hope will be regarded as a little good news in difficult times.
We are accelerating our plan by making an immediate additional gift of $3.3 million, to help fund urgent research projects. Most of the research will concentrate on the immediate priority of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a man of 90 and woman of 88, we have seen the world face and overcome many frightening problems, including the ravages of the Great Depression, the threat of global fascism in the Second World War and the scourge of polio, to name just some.
In each case, the threat was grave, and the outcome uncertain. In each case, humanity prevailed and the future brightened.
Like everyone, we are deeply troubled by the fearsome threat of COVID-19, which has truly changed the world in just a few months. We are concerned not for ourselves, but for the people around us: our friends and family, our neighbours near and far, the people who work in our community’s grocery stores, restaurants and hospitals and the kids who should be out playing in our schoolyards.
We want everyone to be free from this terrible virus, and to be able to live and move about without fear of spreading or picking it up. We’d like to see this happen during what remains of our lifetimes, and we are excited to have the chance to help.
Through our lives in Hamilton we have been fortunate to build wealth to share with the community that helped us to prosper, and in our charity work we have had the chance to meet and learn about many talented and devoted researchers.We want them to have the chance to do their best work in beating back this pandemic, by creating faster, more accessible means of testing that will show how the virus is spreading, by developing effective treatments for those who become ill and, ideally, to prevent more people from becoming ill by creating an effective vaccine.