Ernie Kalwa & Elysia DeLaurentis

Ernie and Elysia’s support of the Hospital dates all the way back to 2004, shortly following a family member’s surgery at Guelph General.

“We really appreciated the care of the surgeons” said Ernie, “especially that of Dr. Kenneth Reed”. It was this care that inspired their first gift.

Visiting the Hospital under these circumstances brought about their awareness and understanding of the relationship between community support and patient care excellence, and motivated their commitment to supporting the Hospital over the long-term as monthly donors.

“It’s a great cause to support because the GGH is good for our entire community” replied Ernie when we asked him why he and Elysia continue to give monthly.

But, what makes Ernie and Elysia uniquely special to the Foundation is the way they have also leveraged their talents and resources to support the Hospital.

Ernie has donated his time and talent as a saxophonist and jazz artist to help heighten the guest experience at a number of past events, including Black Tie Bingo, the Foundation’s premier fundraising gala that raises over $250,000 annually for the Hospital.

“Black Tie Bingo is so successful, and one of the reasons is the support it receives in the form of in-kind donations of product, service and volunteerism” said Linda Craig, the Foundation’s Senior Development Officer who has overseen over 15 Black Tie Bingo’s during her time at the Foundation.

Elysia has also contributed to the Hospital in a special way through her time on the Board of the Guelph Historical Society.

Knowing that patients recovering from surgery often walk the halls to build up strength, she was instrumental in the Guelph Historical Society’s donation to the GGH of a number of beautifully framed, historic photos of Guelph. The photos are hung on the walls of one of our surgical units, helping improve the experience of our patients.

Elysia also collaborated with Shirley Reed of the Guelph General Hospital School for Nurses Alumnae Association. Together the Alumnae and Guelph Historical Society mounted a historical plaque on the grounds of the GGH, to commemorate the history of its nursing school.

Ernie and Elysia appreciate just how important it is to have a well-equipped Hospital to provide the best care possible.

And that is why Ernie advises “if you’re looking for a good way to contribute locally, where funds go directly to helping people in your community, you should definitely consider moving the Hospital to the top of your list.”

We’re thankful that Ernie and Elysia have made Guelph General a priority within their charitable giving plan.

It’s through the support of community members like them that we are able to help save lives and improve health, together with our community.