UHKF top volunteers recognized with Volunteer Awards

(L to R): Andrew Davies (Davies Charitable Foundation), Elaine Davies (Davies Charitable Foundation), Evelyn Maizen, Douglas Springer (B’nai Brith Kingston), Marje Burggraf, Dr. Gary Burggraf, Bentley Davidson (front), Ian Wilson, Sharon Vickers (front), Bryon Springer (B’nai Brith Kingston), Sister Dorothy Fournier (front), Adam Koven (B’nai Brith Kingston), all came together on Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2024, as the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation (UHKF) presented its 2024 Volunteer Awards. Photo via UHKF.

During National Volunteer Week, four people and one organization were honoured with Volunteer Awards by University Hospitals Kingston Foundation (UHKF) for their dedication and impact on improving health care in southeastern Ontario.

According to a release from UHKF, the event took place on Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2024, at Cataraqui Golf and Country Club. There, Evelyn Maizen, the former chair of the UHKF Board of Directors, received the Ian Wilson Award for Volunteerism for her outstanding volunteer fundraising efforts for Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) and Providence Care.

UHKF shared that over the years, Maizen has used her time and talent to inspire others to give and create the health care donors of tomorrow. Through her own gifts and gifts she has inspired, she has helped facilitate in excess of $1 million in government funding for hospital redevelopment, according to the release. As a volunteer, she has reportedly raised more than $150,000 in major gifts. Even during the pandemic, Maizen remained engaged and supported virtual events and campaigns, including the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) webcam campaign that successfully raised more than $200,000.

Maizen said she was inspired to give back after her husband was hospitalized for nine and a half months in 1991.

“Fortunately, because of the diligence and care of the (hospital) staff, he lived for another 12 years. So for that, my family and I are grateful and we became donors and it just flourished from there,” she said. “I really am honoured to receive the award. It was quite a surprise to see my name among the list of potential candidates. I do so much, but really I never expected to be recognized this way.”

Ian Wilson and Evelyn Maizen. Photo via UHKF.

Sharon Vickers, who has been a UHKF volunteer for more than two years, earned the Sister Dorothy Fournier Award for Volunteerism.

Vickers, who UHKF said is known for her positive attitude and putting 100 per cent effort into everything she does, spends two days a week helping in the UHKF office by processing donations and reaching out to donors to personally thank them for their contributions. When not busy in finance, people might find Vickers at the UHKF office front desk answering phones or selling 50/50 tickets.

The Davies Awards For Philanthropic Leadership went to three recipients: B’nai Brith Kingston Lodge, Dr. Gary Burggraf, and Bentley Davidson. In the release, UHKF shared the following details on each of these recipents:

  • Dr. Gary Burrgraf is a retired cardiologist who spent his entire career at KHSC and Queen’s University. For 40 years, he has been making substantial health care donations to a wide range of departments including nephrology, cancer care, research and palliative care. He gives back to KHSC as a thank you for what the organization did for his career, and to help the physicians and patients of today and tomorrow.
  • B’nai Brith Kingston Lodge has supported health care initiatives through its successful annual fundraiser called “An Evening With…” which has featured celebrities such as actor Dan Aykroyd and hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser. Since 2015, the event has raised more than $1.4 million for Hospice Kingston and UHKF (with funds geared to areas such as minimally invasive surgical suites and the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario).
  • Bentley Davidson is proof you can make a difference at any age as the 10-year-old has raised tens of thousands of dollars. When Bentley was two, he dressed up for Halloween as Gord Downie from The Tragically Hip and the photo went viral. His parents, Shannon and Adam, decided to turn it into a fundraiser, and it is now an annual event, with Bentley dressing up as different characters such as Pennywise the Clown from the movie It. Bentley has used his viral fame to support various UHKF causes such as the KHSC Multiple Sclerosis Clinic and juvenile diabetes.

In the release, current UHKF Board Chair Dr. John Leverette congratulated all the recipients for making a difference in our community and for their dedication to helping others.

“The efforts of these volunteers has impacted the lives of many patients and helped give local health-care workers the tools they need to deliver better care,” Dr. Leverette expressed.

Learn more about the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation on the UHKF website.

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