The Verspeeten family of Delhi has made yet another generous donation to the Delhi Community Health Centre.
The $355,300 gift arrived at the end of a difficult year for all non-profit organizations that rely on fundraising to maintain high standards.
In a news release on Jan. 21, the health centre said the donation ensures its walk-in clinic will remain fully staffed and available to the community despite recent shortfalls in fundraising.
The health centre says family patriarch Archie Verspeeten, founder of a successful trucking company now retired, summoned former board chair Dale Corner to his home Dec. 30.
There, Verspeeten presented Corner with his latest donation with instructions that the cheque be cashed and deposited by the end of the business day.
“In this past year of bad news there are still bright spots,” says Dennis Laprise, current chair of the health centre board of directors. “This is not the first time that Archie has given us a major lift, and we are ever so appreciative to him and all of those in the community who have helped.
“It is acts like this that make me believe that people are good neighbours. Thank you sir. Our hats are off to you and your support of this beautiful community.”
The donation allows the health centre to devote all its resources in the months ahead to health programming. When asked to explain his ongoing support of the health centre, Verspeeten said it is a vital community resource available to everyone. As such, he said it deserves enthusiastic support.
“We’ve all had to make use of it,” he said. “So we want to do what we can to give back to it.”
Verspeeten adds he hopes his family’s example “inspires others to come forward and support an important cause in whatever way they can.”
In several instalments over several years, the Verspeeten family has donated more than $2 million to the medical centre. The family’s support has been so instrumental that a $3.3-million wing recently added to the Main Street clinic has been named in honour of Archie Verspeeten and his late wife Irene.
The magnitude of the Verspeeten family’s generosity has caught the attention of Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett.
“We can’t say enough to express our gratitude to Archie Verspeeten and family for yet another generous contribution to the ongoing success of our Delhi Community Health Centre.” Barrett said.
The Delhi health centre boasts the only fully-accessible walk-in clinic in this part of Norfolk. It relies on donated funds to stock and staff the facility. Lisa Lesnicki-Young, executive director, hopes local residents keep that in mind when they consider charitable giving in 2021.
“2020 was a financially challenging year for most charities, including the health centre,” she said. “The pandemic is not over and income loss still follows us into 2021.”