From a Blind Date to a Life Well Travelled: Bill and Lucie’s Story

From a Blind Date to a Life Well Travelled: Bill and Lucie’s Story

As Canadians start to turn their attention to their plans for the busy holiday season, November is also a special month for a different kind of planning – it’s Make a Will Month across the country.

At North York General Foundation, we are grateful to have a robust group of donors who have left a gift in their will to support our hospital, solidifying their wish to support NYGH in life and in legacy. We call this group The Heritage Circle, and today we caught up with members Bill and Lucie to learn more about their inspiration behind leaving a planned gift.

Tell us a little bit about yourselves.

“We’ve been married for 60 years next year and we were actually set up on a blind date all those years ago! We raised our two children in this home in the North York community for the past 46 years, and now we enjoy life with our two grandchildren who visit us from Markham. Our hobbies include travelling and hiking and one of our favourite trips was to New Zealand and Australia which we took the year we retired. This photo of us above is from Mount Wheeler in Nevada, 11,000 feet high!”

What’s your connection to North York General and why were you inspired to give?

“Bill’s father, Henry, was actually a volunteer at the hospital in the 1980’s. Given his years of service in the Navy in England, this was probably his way of still being of service to the community…he was also a volunteer fireman! Henry did a bit of everything at NYGH, checking the mail, delivering flowers – he was the most warm and friendly person and would do anything for anyone. When both he and mum passed away at NYGH, years apart, we chose to direct memorial gifts to the Foundation. We’ve been giving ever since.”

Share a bit more about your decision to leave a charitable gift in your estate.

“Eighteen months ago, Bill was diagnosed with cancer and we turned to NYGH for his treatment. Everyone we met, from the nurses to the doctors, especially Dr. Joanne Yu and Dr. Stephanie Tung, was so kind and compassionate. Their expert care of Bill and their compassion towards us as a family is something we felt deeply. The cancer journey also prompted us to look at our wills and estate plans and that’s when we made the decision to leave a gift in our will to North York General Foundation. This was our way of showing our gratitude for the care Bill received, and to honour Bill’s parents Henry and Olive in a meaningful way.”

What was the process like working with your lawyer?

“Including a gift in our will was relatively easy! Lucie worked at Seneca College and attended a seminar on estate planning, so we had an idea of how it would work. From there, we searched for a lawyer and found her after some online research. She guided us on the phraseology and suggested we leave a defined amount in our will (the other option is a residual gift). We did most of it online because of COVID.”

What are your hopes for your gift once it is realized?

“We decided to make our gift flexible so that the Foundation team can decide what the greatest needs of the hospital are when our gift is actualized. Priorities are always changing and we trust the Foundation to apply our gift to what’s needed most at the time. Our children are also aware of our wishes and are supportive of our way of giving back. We’ve been blessed in this life and want our gratitude to live on forever through this gift in our estate.”

Do you want more information on leaving a gift in your will to North York General Foundation? Read more and search the lawyer and estate advisors database on our Will Power page or join us on January 23, 2024 for a special virtual event all about estate planning. For more information or to reserve your spot, contact Carrie Gemmell at [email protected].