Bowmanville Hospital Foundation recently announced a $2,000,000 gift in support of the redevelopment and expansion project coming soon to Bowmanville Hospital. Unprecedented in the history of Bowmanville Hospital Foundation, this $2 million-dollar gift from the Kemp family is the largest gift ever received by the foundation in support of the hospital.
Surrounded by his family, friends, community leaders and hospital staff, longtime supporter and ambassador of Bowmanville Hospital and Foundation, Kirk Kemp, stepped forward to show the family’s commitment to Bowmanville Hospital with the announcement of this significant gift. The Emergency Department will be named in honour of Kirk’s parents, Doug and Billie Kemp. This announcement marks the first leadership gift received for the foundation’s capital campaign for the Bowmanville project.
The Kemp family has been an integral part of the Clarington community for decades. It all began in the mid-1900s when Doug and Billie Kemp moved to Clarington to begin a life in farming. Learning the ropes from Billie’s uncle, Charlie Carruthers, Doug developed his family’s apple farm which years later would grow into the well-known Algoma Orchards Ltd., owned and operated by the Gibson and Kemp families and now the largest independently owned apple grower and packing company in Canada. In addition to the family farm, Doug and Billie’s involvement with St. Paul’s Church, the Bowmanville Lion’s Club, Children’s Aid Society of Cobourg and international mission work, has proven their commitment to the community.
“A hospital is the cornerstone of any community and sometimes we take it for granted,” said Kemp, President of Algoma Orchards Ltd. “We felt we had an obligation to help our hospital and community and, it was important for us to get involved and make sure we have an innovative, state-of-the-art healthcare facility right in our community that will continue to serve our families now and for years to come. This gift represents our confidence in a truly great project that will provide community healthcare close to home for over 92,000 people who live and work in and around Clarington. And, as one of Canada’s fastest growing communities, we urgently need our local hospital to keep pace with that growth.”
The Kemps hold a special place in their hearts for Bowmanville Hospital, from fond memories of children’s and grandchildren’s births to the still emotional and frightening memory of Kirk and Sheila’s son, Byron’s visit to the Emergency Department. On April 17, 2009, 15-year-old Byron suffered a major injury on his way to the bus stop after being struck by a vehicle on the quiet rural road. EMS responded immediately and rushed him to Bowmanville Hospital’s Emergency Department. The emergency staff worked quickly to stabilize him before airlifting him to SickKids Hospital. After a year of rehabilitation, Byron made a full recovery. “I often think that if he had to go 35 or 40 minutes further to another hospital, he wouldn’t be the same kid he is today,” said Kemp.
“We are incredibly thankful to have such a generous family living in our community,” said Chris Kooy, Board Chair, Bowmanville Hospital Foundation. “Across generations, the Kemps have been an inspiration as leaders and ambassadors whose commitment continues to elevate health care for Clarington. It is with great respect and gratitude that I say, on behalf of the foundation, as well as Clarington residents and patients who benefit every time they enter the Emergency Department of our hospital…Thank You!”
“This transformational gift provided by the Kemp family comes at an unprecedented time for health care across the region as we build a regional system of acute care to better serve those living in Bowmanville and across Durham Region,” said Matthew Anderson, President and CEO of Lakeridge Health. “This first-of-its-kind gift for the redevelopment of Bowmanville Hospital will help modernize facilities and enhance health care services to ensure people living in the community have better access to care close to home.”
“The support and dedication exemplified by the Kemp family is truly inspiring,” said Frank Cerisano, CEO, Bowmanville Hospital Foundation. “Their commitment to our hospital and leadership within the community is demonstrated once again through their decision to make this very generous gift to support the expansion project. We are privileged to honour Doug and Billie Kemp in this important way and continue to build upon an already strong legacy they create for the Kemp family name decades before. This gift will not only transform the patient care experience at Bowmanville Hospital for the better and
paves the way for others to support the project; it is also a wonderful example of philanthropy at its very best.”