(Chelmsford, Ontario) On September 12, 2016, Villa St. Gabriel Villa held the official unveiling of their newly completed healing gardens – one at each side of the Villa in addition to a meadow and trees which beautifies the entire facility. The healing gardens will promote activities, encourage interaction, and will promote enhanced well-being for our residents, family members, friends and staff at Villa St. Gabriel Villa.
The project was made possible through several fundraising efforts. First, St. Joseph’s Foundation of Sudbury raised funds for this much needed initiative via its annual gala, dinner and dance fundraiser held on October 24, 2015. Through the generosity of sponsors, donors and attendees the gala committee raised approximately $68,000.
“The Foundation board members and I are truly proud to be associated with Villa St. Gabriel Villa. The Foundation’s mission is to fund care initiatives not traditionally supported through government operating dollars that enhance the delivery of care: body, mind and spirit to residents and their families” stated Melanie Kanerva, St. Joseph’s Foundation Chair.
In addition, in December 2013, the Sabourin family established the Fonds commémoratif Monique Landry-Sabourin Memorial Fund to celebrate Monique’s tireless commitment – from the vision to the construction and opening of Villa St. Gabriel Villa, on land generously donated by Gabriel Bélanger. Since its launch in December 2013, the fund has raised over $50,000.
Monique Landry-Sabourin, who was a member of the Board of St. Joseph’s Health Centre from 2002 to 2011 and Chair from 2005 to 2007, played an integral role in seeing Villa St. Gabriel Villa come to fruition. Part of our Board’s mandate is to identify and, where feasible, meet the unmet needs in the community. And, that is exactly what Mme. Landry-Sabourin and Board members did … they identified the need for a long-term care home in Chelmsford. Monique, who was instrumental in negotiating the land deal, met with Gabriel Bélanger and brought forth the proposal to build in Chelmsford. In 2009, Gabriel and Laura Bélanger graciously donated this land to St. Joseph’s Health Centre. As a result, Villa St. Gabriel Villa was built and opened its doors in March 2011 to 128 residents.
Moreover, the Bélanger family have also been long-standing and dedicated supporters of Villa St. Gabriel Villa. In addition to the donation of the land on which the Villa is built, Madame Laura Bélanger and her family established the Gabriel and Laura Bélanger fund in September 2015 to support initiatives at the Villa. Laura Bélanger started the Fund with a donation of $50,000.
The dollars raised through the he Fonds commémoratif Monique Landry-Sabourin Memorial Fund and the Gabriel and Laura Bélanger fund were also placed toward this beautiful and worthwhile project.
“We are tremendously proud to be able to celebrate this occasion with you – in these beautiful surroundings.. these beautiful gardens were made possible because of the collective generosity of the St. Joseph’s Foundation of Sudbury, the Blanger Family, and the Sabourin Family” stated Linda Wilson, Board Chair. “We are truly grateful”.
The healing gardens feature wheelchair accessible paths, raised planting beds, a gazebo, meadows and beautiful sitting areas for all to enjoy. The healing gardens will serve as an exterior area for rehabilitation and recreational use.
Left to right: Jo-Anne Palkovits, Administrator, Laura Bélanger, Pascal Sabourin, Linda Wilson, Board Chair and Melanie Kanerva, Chair, St. Joseph’s Foundation
Left to right: Linda Wilson, Board Chair, Jo-Anne Palkovits, Administrator, Pascal Sabourin, Laura Bélanger, Melanie Kanerva, Chair, St. Joseph’s Foundation, Ray Ingriselli, Site Administrator, Michael Heapey, Chair, Villa St. Gabriel Resident Council
*The group is shown placing ladybugs in the healing garden signifying safety and protection to oversee the residents and staff.