Community generosity: the roots of investing in St. Mary's

It started with a promise.
When St. Mary’s was being built in 1923, the hospital’s advisory board established a subscription committee, tasked with gathering community donations for the project’s building fund.
Construction of St. Mary's General Hospital
The committee asked community members to sign up for subscriptions – promises to pay an agreed-upon amount over time to help construct and furnish the new hospital.
SMGH donor subscription letter
Some subscriptions pledged 50 cents toward the building fund while others offered $100 or more. While the amounts varied wildly, each act of generosity shared the same symbolic message: community investment is crucial to local healthcare.
Donor subscription list - SMGH
Those initial donations planted St. Mary’s roots and ensured the building had what it needed to serve its first patients. The community rallied to raise $150,000 (roughly $2.6 million today) through subscriptions and other donations by the time St. Mary’s opened its doors in 1924.
St. Mary's General Hospital - original donor subscription card

Then and now

A century later, donor investment continues to play a pivotal role in local healthcare, funding 100 per cent of the cost of new and replacement hospital equipment.
Donor generosity funded St. Mary’s first MRI machine through a $10-million joint campaign with Grand River in 2023, and secured new ultrasound units, cardiac equipment, retinal surgery lasers, and other tools and programs that St. Mary’s patients rely on every day.
St. Mary's General Hospital exterior photo
While St. Mary’s celebrates 100 years of care, it also applauds a century of committed donors who’ve taken it upon themselves to ensure their hospital has the equipment it needs to provide the best possible care to their community.
St. Mary’s legacy of care began with a legacy of philanthropy. And both are still going strong.
St. Mary's General Hospital - 100 Years

What's your St. Mary's General Hospital story?

Our hospital is more than a place — it's a tapestry of stories, resilience, and compassion. Have you experienced a moment at St. Mary's General Hospital that touched your life?
Join us in celebrating a century of compassionate care! As our hospital marks its 100th year, we're inviting you to share your story as a part of our rich history.
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