By: Surjit Flora
One hundred years young – and celebrating with a significant fundraising campaign.
Former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion announced Tuesday that, in preparation for her 100th birthday early next year, she will be helping charitable efforts for a local health system through proceeds from a new photo book commemorating life and accomplishments.
When we glanced into her eyes, a twinkle gives away the excitement she feels about her milestone birthday. “I don’t feel 100!” she laughed.
The photo book, announced Tuesday by Trillium Health Partners, Premier Doug Ford and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, will cover Hazel’s remarkable life and achievements during her tenure as the city’s longest-serving Mayor — and will help raise funds to support the redevelopment of the Mississauga (Queensway) Hospital.
“Together, we can inspire a new vision for healthcare,” Hazel told residents during a virtual press conference Tuesday afternoon.
The ground is familiar for McCallion, who spearheaded the drive to build Credit Valley Hospital in 1976.
No one embodies the spirit of public service more than Hazel, said Ford, who spoke during the event.
“I am proud to call her a friend and the best adviser- this photo book honours a true legend while also supporting our frontline heroes at Trillium Health Partners.”
During the event, Trillium President and CEO Caroline Riseboro also announced that the book had already raised more than $1 million from major donors and community members in presales. The hospital will work to raise at least $1.5 million to support the hospital’s redevelopment.
“THP has benefitted over many years from Hazel’s unwavering support. Once again, she has stepped up to ensure the people of Mississauga can get the care they need by supporting the expansion and redevelopment of (the hospital),” said Ms. Riseboro.
Trillium had over 1.75 million patient visits to its sites last year, and a number is expected to climb due to the COVID19 pandemic. Under the new fundraising campaign, the Mississauga Hospital redevelopment will add additional bed capacity for patients, said guests at the event.
“If we’ve learned anything from COVID-19, it’s the importance our hospitals play in the health and wellbeing of our community,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “This fundraising effort will go a long way in ensuring residents continue to have a world-class hospital system in Mississauga.
Hazel will also be recognized on her birthday, Feb. 14, 2021, with the Mississauga Central Library’s renaming in her honour. Residents who want to support the photo book campaign can purchase a copy for $100 or donate to the project – donations of $25 or more are tax-deductible.
For more information, visit the campaign site at hazel100.ca.