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Charles Juravinski set a standard for philanthropy in Hamilton

Charles Juravinski set a standard for philanthropy in Hamilton

Charles Juravinski has died at the age of 92 at Margaret’s Place, one of many health care facilities that benefited from the philanthropy of he and his surviving wife Margaret.

For all their long and productive lives Margaret and Charles Juravinski have exemplified the virtues of hard work, straight-shooting and thrift as they operated first a successful construction business and then the Flamboro Downs Harness race track and casino gaming venue. Those qualities enabled Margaret and Charles to succeed in business and after the sale of the race track, have allowed them to set a standard of philanthropy in health care that will be hard to match anywhere. Starting in 2006, at the time of the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary, Margaret and Charles Juravinski have donated tens of millions od dollars to Hamilton Health care facilities, most notably to the regional cancer centre that bears their name and the Margaret and Charles Juravinski Centre for Integrated Healthcare at St Joseph’s West 5th campus. Their generosity has also been demonstrated in substantial donations to the St Joseph’s Innovation Centre, the St. Joseph’s Villa Residence, McMaster Medical Centre, Hamilton General Hospital, and St Peter’s Hospital. Their donations which spearheaded the Juravinski Hospital reconstruction project, removed tens of thousands of chemotherapy and radiation patients from waiting lists. The couple also announced a $100 Million endowment that will take effect after their passing, and a $5.1 million donation to medical research just two days ago.

 The plain-spoken Charles sees their gifts as a way of thanking all the people who contributed to their success since he came to Hamilton from Saskatchewan at the beginning of World War Two subsequent to the Great Depression. “How can you touch their lives and say thank you?” he told a reporter a few years back, It’s almost impossible, but there’s one way that you can, and that’s through health care. “The most rewarding part of making such contributions, he told the Bay Observer in a 2017 interview, “is hearing how we have helped individual patients. “It is something that is unbelievable.” We have touched many people’s lives through health care and the satisfaction we feel is overwhelming.” What advice do Margaret and Charles have for others thinking about giving back? “Donate anything you can– you will like it and you will be rewarded with a sense of gratification.”

His passing at Margaret’s Place Hospice comes six months after its opening; a hospice which is named after his wife, Margaret, in honour of their leadership gift. Their contribution of $2.8-million enabled St. Joseph’s Villa & Foundation to meet the l needs for hospice care in the community.

Margaret and Charles at the sod turning for Margaret’s Place

“Charles strongly believed in the need for end-of-life care in our community,” says Don Davidson, President and CEO, St. Joseph’s Villa Foundation. “While we’re deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend Charlie, we are honoured our hospice – the one he made possible – is the one that could care for him at the end of his life. It is only right that Charles could receive this compassionate care that he and Margaret made possible.”

In an interview with St. Joseph’s Villa Foundation in June 2021, Charles talked about the value of hospice care. “For a family to have a space where they can savor precious moments in their final journey together, I couldn’t think of any better way to give back to our community,” said Charles. “The hospice is named after my wife Margaret, but it’s a place for all Margarets and anyone else who needs it.”

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