Philanthropist sees education opportunity for young sons
For a cheque presentation ceremony, 7:30 AM is pretty early. But Trevor Finch, who made a $10,000 donation to the Scleroderma Clinic at St. Paul’s on behalf of his family’s foundation, The Wilson Family Fund, wanted his two young sons, Wylie, 9, and Jono, 8, to be there. Before school hours was the best time.
“I’ll need to hurry back to the suburbs to get these guys to school on time,” says Trevor with a laugh.
Trevor credits his own father, Mike Wilson, a noted philanthropist and board figure in the health care advocacy sector, for planting the seeds of giving.
“I was in my teens when my father started the foundation,” says Trevor, “and he always made my brothers and me aware of how important it is to give back—and how lucky you are to be able to do so. That’s a message I want to pass on to my kids. ”
Trevor makes giving decisions for the Wilson Family Fund with his brothers Jeff, Eric and Tyler.
“We get together once a year,” says Trevor, “usually in the summer because we all live in different cities. I’m in Vancouver, Jeff lives in Halifax, Eric’s in Ottawa and Tyler’s in Montreal.”
Second gift for Scleroderma Clinic from Wilson Family Fund
Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease of the body’s connective tissues that results in the thickening of the skin and organs, which can impact circulation and respiration. A chronic condition for which patients often require oxygen therapy. This is the second time the Wilson Family Fund has supported the Scleroderma Clinic at St. Paul’s.
“I was amazed by how patient-oriented they are at the Scleroderma Clinic,” says Trevor, “and by how much the doctors and staff do for patients. Yet, it’s a little known disease, which means it doesn’t receive a ton of funding from the public. I thought it would be a great clinic to support and my brothers agreed.”
Trevor is still moved by the reception he received last year when he was asked to attend the clinic’s AGM to meet some clinic staff and patients.
“I had a nice dinner and listened to the speeches,” he says, “and I was amazed that my family’s fund was being mentioned in these speeches, and I was so moved when patients sought me out and gave me these big hugs. I was floored. I can’t tell you how much that evening meant to me. I will never forget it.”
Trevor also says he was floored when Fran Schooley, Clinic Coordinator of the Scleroderma Clinic, let him know just how much the clinic would be able to do with his family’s gift.
“I was amazed when Fran listed off things our donation would help with. Some of it would help with a new dialysis machine, some would help with genome research. I couldn’t believe how much we would impact patient care. That’s something I hope more people will come to realize. Even with a modest gift, you can have an incredible impact. And it feels incredible, too.”
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