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$20 million new donation for Health Sciences Center from the Verspeeten family
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$20 million new donation for Health Sciences Center from the Verspeeten family

The fundraising arm for Southwestern Ontario’s largest hospital has received its largest single donation ever, a $20-million gift from the family of trucking magnate Archie Verspeeten.

The donation from the Verspeeten family, announced Tuesday morning, will see London Health Sciences Centre rename the London Regional Cancer Program the Verspeeten Family Cancer Centre.

“It’s a huge moment for LHSC,” John MacFarlane, chief executive for the hospital’s fundraising arm, the London Health Sciences Foundation, said as the gift was announced Tuesday morning. “(It’s) a game changer.”

Over the years, the Verspeeten family has donated $27 million to the London hospital foundation.

“In the last 25 years, he returned to his roots of farming and shifted his focus to philanthropy,” his obituary reads.

“This became Archie’s passion, with sizeable donations made to various medical facilities in Southwestern Ontario.”

“He was one of the most caring, thoughtful people in our community and beyond,” Margaret Saunders stated, “and many are reaping the benefits of his generosity today.”

In a statement issued by the hospital Verspeeten himself was quoted about the significance of the $20-million donation he’d been planning to make, citing the loss of his wife and sons to cancer.

“I sincerely hope this contribution will not only advance efforts toward a cure but also enhance the quality of life for patients, allowing them to live comfortably despite the challenges of the disease,” he said.

Photo: (Left to right) Pam Taylor of the London Health Sciences Foundation, Mark Verspeeten, Brian Verspeeten, Dennis Verspeeten, London Health Sciences Centre CEO Kevin Chan, physician Michael Ott and John MacFarlane of the hospital foundation were together as the Verspeeten family donated $20 million

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