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Retired Island nurse makes 3rd record-breaking hospital donation in a row

Vera Morrow fills Tofino General Hospital Foundation’s sails with a whopping $200K
Vera Morrow happily hands a $100,000 cheque to Tofino Hospital Foundation chair Arlene McGinnis in 2022. Morrow doubled her support to $200,000 this year. (Westerly file photo)

The Tofino General Hospital Foundation awoke to a very merry morrow in 2024, celebrating the largest donation in its history.

Vera Morrow, a retired nurse, recently filled the foundation’s sails with a whopping $200,000.

“I’m stunned,” foundation chair Arlene McGinnis told the Westerly News. “She’s been so generous and it’s just amazing. She’s an amazing person and she seems to have taken our efforts to get a new hospital under her wing. She’s been very generous.”

McGinnis has been the foundation’s chair for over 12 years and noted Morrow’s $200,000 donation is the largest the foundation has ever received, breaking Morrow’s own record of $150,000, which she donated in 2023, Morrow also donated $100,000 in 2022.

McGinnis was awed as she talked about the consistent strength of Morrow’s support, which has increased steadily over the years.

“Vera is wonderful and she’s kind. For somebody to have a heart that big that she’s willing to give this much…it’s mind boggling. She’s a very kind lady and a very nice lady,” McGinnis said.

She explained Morrow’s generosity will go towards new equipment for the current hospital as well as the pursuit of a new hospital for the region and added that donations are vital to the foundation’s efforts to fill the West Coast’s only hospital with up-to-date equipment.

“It’s important to us because it serves everybody. Everybody that lives here and everybody that comes here benefits from our hospital, so we have to have the very best equipment at our hands and we do. We really work hard to make sure that we do,” she said.

“We’ve been told that we are one of the best equipped, small hospitals on the Island, so it’s really something to be proud of…The reason that we are a strong group is that we really believe in what we are doing for all the communities on the West Coast. We strongly feel that we want to give all the people the best possible care and equipment that we can supply.”

She added the foundation is entirely volunteer-based.

“We don’t even get a cup of coffee, unless we make it ourselves,” she laughed.

All donations are tax deductible and can be sent to the Tofino General Hospital Foundation, PO Box 190, Tofino, B.C. V0R 2Z0.

“We appreciate every dollar we get. If somebody can only afford to give us a dollar, we’ll gladly take it. It’s just the way it is, people can only give what they can give,” she said.

“It has been so difficult for people to be able to afford to donate. Time’s have been tough and then you get somebody like this who steps forward and takes all that pressure off the foundation from having to try and fundraise to get this money for equipment and also to go towards the new hospital.”

She suggested a new hospital is long overdue.

“We need it,” she said, adding the small hospital has been outgrown by the communities it serves and its age is showing wear and tear.

“You could go on and on with all the different things that are wrong with it. Our emergency room is too small, in the summertime it’s packed in there…This hospital serves the entire West Coast. That’s what it’s there for. It’s not just Tofino, it’s the entire West Coast, plus everybody coming in to visit.”

The foundation is planning a fundraising event in September.

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Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
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