CDH board receives mammoth donation of $234,000 from Renshaw estate

Family members of Art Renshaw gather with Brian Payne, the chair of the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation for presentation of a $234,000 cheque from Renshaw
Family members of Art Renshaw gather with Brian Payne, the chair of the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation for presentation of a $234,000 cheque from Renshaw's estate. From left are: Mary Rasmussen, Ed Rasmussen, Vera Colliar, Payne, Leah LaRiviere and Gord LaRiviere. A fountain like the one behind them will bear Renshaw's name.
— image credit: Don Bodger

A generous donation from Art Renshaw's estate will allow the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation to direct considerable funds toward necessary medical equipment.

Five of Renshaw's family members attended the hospital foundation's monthly meeting Thursday afternoon to present chair Brian Payne with a cheque for $234,000.

The family wanted the donation to go toward hospital equipment at CDH. Nothing specific has been earmarked for it as yet.

"The board will decide how we spend the money,'' said Payne.

Renshaw was 79 when he died on Nov. 29, 2010.

He was born in Athabasca, Alberta, spent some of his younger years in Ladysmith and then lived in Burnaby for many years before coming to Maple Bay to retire. He lived at a residence on Arbutus Avenue for about 20 years.

Sister Vera Colliar joked that Burnaby's loss was Cowichan's gain. She said Renshaw told her about 40 years ago that if something happened to him money should be donated to the Burnaby hospital.

"You should be grateful he moved to Duncan,'' said Colliar to the CDH board members.

"Most of it is from his house and he had a bit put away,'' said niece Leah LaRiviere. "The hospital got the most money.''

Renshaw died at the Cowichan District Hospital,'' LaRiviere, who lives in Surrey, said of her uncle.

"He was not always well. He had his medical issues over the years. He never had children. For him to give that sizable donation to a foundation was really special.''

LaRiviere's husband Gord, cousin Ed Rasmussen and Renshaw's sister Mary Rasmussen also attended represented the family at the meeting.

Colliar had the honour of turning over the money to the foundation.

"It's not every day I write a cheque this big,'' she understated.

"We're pleased and honoured to have you join us for your donation,'' said Payne.

Leah LaRiviere, who's the executive director of Prostate Cancer Foundation B.C., knows all about the significance of such donations from personal experience in her position.

"Our foundation mimics yours so that the money goes to the cause,'' she told Payne and the board. "That's really important for me. We know his donation to the foundation will go to services needed and equipment needed.''

A fountain, part of a grounds rejuvenation project, will also bear Renshaw's name.


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