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May-2019

Hamilton philanthropists Charles and Margaret Juravinskis gift researchers with $100 million legacy fund

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The endowment, which will be used to create the Juravinski Research Centre, will provide $5 million a year for research.

Hamilton’s medical research community is abuzz with a $100 million gift from local philanthropists Charles and Margaret Juravinski.

The gift is a legacy endowment fund, which means the money will be given out once the Juravinskis have passed on. The endowment, which will be used to create the Juravinski Research Centre, will provide $5 million a year for research.

The estate gift, tied specifically to future medical research, is one of Canada’s largest-ever legacy gifts, said Hamilton Health Sciences president Rob MacIsaac.

“There is little doubt this will have an enormous impact on the local research environment,” he said, adding that over the long term, it will be a huge benefit to the province and the country and will improve health care.

The endowment will equally support researchers across Hamilton, in the city’s three research institutions — McMaster University, as well as the hospitals and medical facilities of Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

“It brings us great pleasure to think that when we are gone, our legacy to this community may be measured in the good health of those who come after us,” the Juravinskis said in a letter to the community.

The endowment will be used equally by the three institutions to fund health research in a variety of areas, including cancer, mental health, lung and respiratory care, and diseases of aging.

Charles Juravinski, 89, and Margaret, 88, built and managed Flamboro Downs race track for 27 years before selling it in 2002. Before Flamboro Downs, Charles owned a series of businesses, including a development company.

The couple has already donated $50 million in the past to Hamilton hospitals and the university. This includes building improvements to the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre and the Juravinski Innovation Tower at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

McMaster faculty of health dean Dr. Paul O’Byrne said the most unique and relevant part of the couple’s new legacy fund is that it is to be explicitly spent on research.

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