Gene Pidwerbesky’s Harvest Gift for Children’s Health
The Pidwerbesky family gathered at Saskatoon’s Park Town Hotel on a hot August day to make an announcement to a crowd of news media. They were excited to share the news that Gene Pidwerbesky had decided to make a $1.98 million donation to Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Gene Pidwerbesky runs a successful multi-generational family farm in the Borden area. Being in the spotlight for a major charitable gift was new ground for him, but he was certain that a public announcement of his gift was the right course of action. The grain farmer was determined to leverage his gift to make the most of it and inspire other farm families to do the same.
It was the last day of harvest in the fall of 2021 when Gene sustained a serious injury in an accident on the farm. He was hospitalized in Saskatoon for months of treatment. As he recovered, he began to plan his donation.
In designating his gift, Gene wanted to fill a void for children’s medical care that was not otherwise addressed through public funding from the province.
For the farmer who had spent hours on heavy farm equipment working the land, an equipment purchase for Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital—that serves all of the province’s children—was perfect.
“Kids…need to live the life they deserve to the fullest, and that’s what this gift is about,” said Gene. “Kids don’t know what is happening to them or why. Being in hospital is hard enough for an adult, but these kids are hurting, and need the best options available. There are various great places these funds can go, but these kids deserve it the most.”
The Pidwerbesky family’s gift to the kids’ hospital promises to inspire future gifts. It sparked Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation’s provincial fundraising campaign “Harvest for Kids’ Health,” appealing to other farm families to consider charitable giving at harvest time.
We know that the Pidwerbesky family’s generosity will inspire more families to make charitable gifts for important causes they are passionate about.Carm Michalenko, Saskatoon Community Foundataion CEO
A permanent dedication to Gene and his family is now located in the highly visible “Moose Pod,” within the busy Pediatric Outpatients unit, which serves over 25,000 patients annually*, nearly half from outside Saskatoon.
“It has been an honour to assist Gene Pidwerbesky in the making of this meaningful gift,” said Carm Michalenko, Saskatoon Community Foundation CEO. “We know that the Pidwerbesky family’s generosity will inspire more families to make charitable gifts for important causes they are passionate about. Working with Mr. Pidwerbesky, his professional advisors, and Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation is a wonderful example of the power of charitable giving through a partnership with Saskatoon Community Foundation.”
Partnership with Saskatoon Community Foundation demonstrates that local community organizations can do their good work together and have a positive impact in the lives of others.Brynn Boback-Lane, Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO
“Thanks to the life-changing contribution of Gene Pidwerbesky and his family, this tremendous gift will provide access to urgently needed specialized equipment at Saskatchewan’s Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital,” said Brynn Boback-Lane, President and CEO of Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation. “A ‘harvest’ heartfelt thank you to Gene and his family for this commitment to the mothers who give new life and the children who
deserve to live their very best. In true Saskatchewan spirit, this donation is a testament of how you can help your neighbours, friends, and families when they most need it.
“Partnership with Saskatoon Community Foundation demonstrates that local community organizations can do their good work together and have a positive impact in the lives of others.”
*Source: Saskatchewan Health Authority, reporting period April 1, 2020-March 31, 2021.
Photos: submitted by Gene Pidwerbesky and Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation.