A donation from a well-known figure in Prince Albert will help support the province's children.
Malcolm Jenkins put $1 million towards the Jim Pattison Children's Hospital Foundation at a special event on May 15, hosted by Gord and Barb Broda. Jenkins said he made the donation to honour his mother, Lilian Jane Jenkins.
“Many of you think you had the best mom in the world, but you didn't,” Jenkins told attendees. “I did.”
Jenkins was born in London, England during the 1943 bombings by the Germans, who he joked spent 18 months trying to kill him. Jenkins' tone quickly changed when he said his mother had carried him and his sister to safety in underground bomb shelters whenever air raid sirens would go off around the city.
“If it weren't for her, I wouldn't be standing here being able to do a little bit towards building that magnificent children's hospital,” Jenkins said. “It's just a marvellous place, and it's long overdue in our province.”
Jenkins said he had nothing but praise for the health care in Saskatchewan, which he said extended his late wife's life by six years. He said he also felt compelled to donate because he wanted to see his money put to good use. He joked that while he may look 25, he's actually 75 and in a position in life where he can give back.
“I'd like to see something like this happen and come about in my lifetime, so I can see kids with smiles on their faces,” Jenkins said.
The funds will go towards the family room at the neonatal care unit within the Jim Pattison Children's Hospital in Saskatoon. While the hospital is based in the Bridge City, it will serve children across the province.
“Located on the fourth floor of the Saskatchewan's new Jim Pattison Children's Hospital, the 48-bed unit will specialize in the care of premature or critically ill babies,” a statement from the hospital foundation read.
Hospital Foundation CEO Brynn Boback-Lane said the gift will help create a family-focused space, which will be “key to the well-being of Saskatchewan families in hospital.” Boback-Lane said the family room will be named after Jenkins' mother.
Jenkins said his mother would never have expected to have something named in her honour.
“She would be so shy. If she were here and I were to say to her, 'this is in your name, and you could cut the ribbon,' she would faint,” Jenkins said.
Editor's Note: paNOW is a subsidiary of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, which is owned by children's hospital benefactor Jim Pattison.
On Twitter: @BryanEneas
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