Twenty-eight new donors were recognized on the Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Donor Wall on Monday, June 24.
Irene Zahorak, 83, donated assets worth $1.8 million on behalf of her sister Elizabeth Matthys, in memory of their parents, Steve and Elizabeth Bota, to the TDMH Foundation.
“It feels great,” said Zahorak.
“My mom always said, ‘I want to be in Tillsonburg hospital if my time comes.’ But she died in University Hospital. We decided we’ll have it in our parents’ memory. My dad would have been 107 today, and my mom would have been 104.
“It’s my sister’s estate,” said Zahorak, noting her sister died Nov. 27, 2011 at the age of 73.
“Her husband (Willie Matthys), he was quite young, and he died first in 2009. We were talking about what to do… and I said, ‘well, why don’t we just give it to the hospital, we have enough.’
“Joe and I had enough because we inherited from our parents,” she added, referring to her husband, who passed away in 2010 at TDMH.
“Elizabeth said, ‘well, that’s not a bad idea.’ Because she always said, ‘we don’t have family.’ And I said, ‘well, we can’t do anything about that.’ She didn’t have any, I didn’t have any.
“She also said she wanted it ‘not for CEOs.’ It’s all stuff strictly for the hospital to help the sick. That was her intention. They need equipment… it’s whatever they decide.”
“Currently we’re funding a HUGO project, Health Care Undergoing Optimization,” said TDMH Foundation development director David Corner. “That project is worth more than $1 million.”
Irene and Elizabeth were both born in Canada, living in the Niagara area when they were young.
“We moved to the tobacco area in 1943, out in Glen Meyer area,” said Irene. “We’ve been here since.
“Elizabeth had property that was all sold – we were tobacco farmers and my dad kept her in the group if they bought quota. A couple slaughter places and stuff like that. And we had the farm out on North Street, my parents bought that in 1953.”
Also recognized on the Donor Wall on the 24th for making significant donations were the estate of Jim Pegg, the estate of Jack and Margaret Goatley, and Gerald Forneri.