Ottawa-Gatineau Youth Foundation grants $765,973 to Roger Neilson House Major milestone achievement in its joint endowment with CHEO Foundation for the Home

July 22, 2021

Writen by the Ottawa-Gatineau Youth Foundation


Today, just weeks after Roger Neilson House celebrated its 15th year anniversary, the Ottawa-Gatineau Youth Foundation donated $765,973 to the home. The funds gifted represent the culmination of successful fundraising partnerships with a number of community events like 24h Tremblant Relay, 57 Ride, Beer Store Bottle Drive, Butterfly Run, Little Wings Golf Tournament, Maddy’s Gala, Malabar Costume Shop, Matthew the Brave Holiday Ice Day, Robbie Burns Supper, Swing For Kids Golf Tournament, and many others.

“Since the first shovel hit the ground in 2003 through today, Roger Neilson House has been an integral part of our Foundation and a vital resource for families throughout the region and beyond,” said Danielle Robinson, President and CEO, Ottawa-Gatineau Youth Foundation. “The Foundation has treasured its work with community and corporate groups in step with families wanting to ensure Roger Neilson House remains accessible and a best-in-class facility of its kind”.

Roger Neilson House, an eight-bed pediatric hospice operated in partnership with CHEO, opened its doors on April 21, 2006, with 80 per cent of its operating costs being covered by the Ontario government. The Ottawa-Gatineau Youth Foundation (formerly named the Ottawa Senators Foundation) made a commitment to cover the balance of funding required for successful operations at the Home. Today’s donation marks a major milestone achievement in the Ottawa-Gatineau Youth Foundation and CHEO Foundation partnership for Roger Neilson House as the fund balance of their joint endowment for the facility surpasses $10 million. The multi-million dollar goal was established when the home first opened its doors.

“The CHEO Foundation has been honoured to support Roger Neilson House since its inception. The partnership between CHEO and Roger Neilson House has transformed the quality of care provided to our children and families. With 95% of all patients at Roger Neilson House cared for and referred by CHEO’s palliative care team, ensuring the long term viability of the home has been a priority,” said Kevin Keohane, President and CEO, CHEO Foundation. “We are so thankful to everyone throughout our region for their oinging support and understanding the importance of reliable, long-term funding, in creating future security for Roger Neilson House and those it serves”.

Dean and Jeanine Otto, who lost their beautiful five-year old daughter Maddy, following the discovery of an inoperable brain tumour just two days before her death, were on-hand for the announcement. “Our family has honoured Maddy’s memory by raising funds for Roger Neilson House, where Maddy spent her final hours, for 15 years now,” said Dean Otto. “We’ve done so, in part, due to the guidance and kindness provided by Danielle Robinson and her team. Being part of the Foundation fundraising family has meant so much to us, especially because we know that families like ours will have access to Roger Neilson House for years to come as a result of our collective efforts”. “The ongoing community support over the last 15 years has been remarkable and continues to be deeply appreciated by the children, families, staff and volunteers,” said Megan Wright, Executive Director, Roger Neilson House and Director, Palliative Care at CHEO. “The need for our services continues to grow and we continue to work to meet the demand by offering new services and expanding access to current programs”.

Roger Neilson House has had more than 5,500 admissions from across Ontario, western Quebec and Nunavut and has provided over 33,500 days of care. With this incredible growth comes the need for continued service delivery and new program development to meet the ever-changing needs of children and youth and the families the facility is serving.

Funds raised for Roger Neilson House will support the most urgent annual needs of families and its essential program offerings including:

  • Bereavement Services
  • End of Life Care
  • Memory Making and Legacy Building Activities
  • Perinatal Hospice
  • Recreation Therapy Program
  • Respite Care
  • Spectacular Incredible Brave Siblings (S.I.B.S.)
  • Symptom Assessment
  • Visiting Home Hospice

About the Ottawa-Gatineau Youth Foundation

The Ottawa-Gatineau Youth Foundation empowers young people to realize their full potential with engagement in physical & mental wellness activities, post-secondary education studies and opportunities to lead social justice actions within their communities.

About the CHEO Foundation

The sole purpose of the CHEO Foundation is to raise funds to help support the work of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario,the CHEO Research Institute and Roger Neilson House. Donations help fund a wide variety of pediatric programs, research, state-of-the art equipment, medical and nursing education, and assistance for families in crisis.

About Roger Neilson House

Roger Neilson House is an eight-bed pediatric residential hospice that welcomes families with children/youth who are living with a life limiting illness. Located in Ottawa on the grounds of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), Roger Neilson House provides a home-like environment where dedicated professionals and volunteers provide the best in compassionate care and support.

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