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Family’s gift to honour parents, increase awareness of palliative care in Oxford County

Woodstock, Ontario – VON Oxford would like to announce a generous donation to Sakura House by the Booth Family. Their gift will support the capital improvements in the main foyer and vestibule and support highest needs at Sakura House. Catherine Booth and her brother Kevin Booth, in partnership with Catherine’s husband Michael Kirk and Kevin’s wife Rhona Booth, made this gift to Sakura House in honour of their parents, Walter and Marilyn Booth, who are no longer with us.

Catherine and Kevin have strong ties to the Woodstock community. They grew up here, went to school here, their father Walter built a successful business here, and Kevin still lives here. Both Walter and Marilyn were big believers in giving back to the community, and their children wanted to do the same in memory of their parents.

Catherine Booth says that “giving to Sakura House in particular became important for a very personal reason. Our mother, Marilyn, was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, and passed away within six months of her diagnosis. Unfortunately, there were no conversations with her about palliative care options. When, a few years later, we saw what Sakura House offers, we so wished that Marilyn could have spent her final days in its kind of environment - comfortable, caring, respectful, and peaceful. We can’t change what she experienced, but hopefully we can make it better for other individuals and families who are facing the same thing. We are encouraged by the fact that Sakura House enjoys enormous support from the community and its importance is recognized. We feel it is so critical to bring palliative care into the light, to talk about it openly, and actively support it.”

The construction is scheduled to take place in 2019. The new vestibule will keep the integrity of the original design of the house, allow patients to be transferred safely to the house, as well as protect them from the elements. It will also create a more positive and welcoming experience for families and patients when they first arrive at the house. The family’s gift was recognized with the naming of the “Booth Family Atrium” at a special ceremony held on November 6, 2018.

For more information, please contact:

Trish Gergich
Manager, Fund Development
519-539-1231 ext 269 or

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