The power of philanthropy

Donor spotlight

At the core of philanthropy is a belief in action. Maire Watson (Shaw) knows firsthand the power of giving and how a vision can become reality when the right people and passion are behind it.


In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Maire was inspired to get involved in an exciting initiative that was a first for BC, and for Canada. A hospital was being built exclusively for children — a place dedicated to the unique care needs of kids and their families.


Maire proudly joined the fundraising team, helping to rally support across the province for the building of what is known today as “the 1982 BC Children’s Hospital” — the hospital’s first facility. She fondly reflects on her involvement in the original logo project, and she is proud to see the provincially recognized emblem still being used today. “Everyone was so motivated to have a kids-own hospital and to be the first in Canada,” Maire recalls.

Exciting change, innovation and long hours characterized the early days of BC Children’s Hospital and Foundation, and Maire was on the front lines of the fundraising work, driving to communities across BC and knocking on doors, returning with a briefcase filled with generous contributions.

Back in Vancouver, Maire connected personally to the cause as she spent time with patients — enjoying pizza, pool games and laughter, even as some of them wore plaster casts. As new initiatives bubbled up, spearheaded by clinicians and healthcare leaders who joined the hospital, Maire was deeply moved to support their work.

Maire’s dedication and passion for the hospital meant kids across BC had a hospital to call home, a place designed and dedicated to their specific care needs, as well as their families. It is a fact that remains true today, as BC Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in BC devoted exclusively to children, providing a level of specialized care that kids can’t receive anywhere else.

As a legacy donor, Maire’s passion will continue to provide a bright and healthy future for children across BC. After considering various legacy options, it was an easy next step with the help of a lawyer. Maire and her husband, Duncan, created a future gift in each of their wills, knowing their foresight rooted in decades past will make a difference for the care of children to come.

“The legacy gift Duncan and I will leave to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation represents a profound connection to the hospital for me personally. What BC Children’s gave me during my tenure of service was meaning, compassion, fulfillment, fun and teamwork. I have such deep emotional ties to the hospital,” Maire says.


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