South Asians Raise Millions for Hospital

February 3, 2007

Author: Prithi Yelaja

Source: The Star

When the new Brampton Civic Hospital opens its doors later this year, it will be due in no small measure to the generosity of the South Asian community, particularly residents with Punjabi roots who live in the area.

The move to name the new emergency department after Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, gave Sikh fundraising efforts a boost – and caused a flap.

"I won't lie. That (name) was a huge push for our campaign. It's an emotional connection so it was really well-received in the community," said Ramandeep Grewal, a lawyer who is among those spearheading the Canadian Sikh Subcommittee.

Through a radio-thon, a dinner, and individual donations, the Sikh community has raised $3.4 million toward its goal of $10 million over five years. The Ontario Federation of Hindu Temples pledged $2.5 million and the Muslim Friends, $1 million.

"We're just thrilled," said Maureen Flanagan Pool, director of development and new initiatives for William Osler Health Centre Foundation, under whose umbrella the new hospital falls.