Hamilton philanthropists Charles and Margaret Juravinski are gifting $3.3 million to help fund COVID-19 research projects in Hamilton.
In a letter to the community on Friday, the couple said they were deeply troubled by the “fearsome threat” of COVID-19.
“We are concerned not for ourselves, but for the people around us: our friends and family, our neighbours near and far, the people who work in our community’s grocery stores, restaurants and hospitals and the kids who should be out playing in our schoolyards,” they wrote. “We want everyone to be free from this terrible virus, and to be able to live and move about without fear of spreading or picking it up.”
The Juravinskis said they have had the opportunity to meet and learn about many talented and devoted researched in Hamilton through their charity work. “We want them to have the chance to do their best work in beating back this pandemic, by creating faster, more accessible means of testing that will show how the virus is spreading, by developing effective treatments for those who become ill and, ideally, to prevent more people from becoming ill by creating an effective vaccine,” the couple wrote.
They went on to say they are deeply grateful for the dedication of all frontline workers who are “risking their own health and even their lives for our wellbeing.”
Just last year the couple announced a legacy endowment for research in Hamilton worth roughly $100 million.
The donation provides up to $5 million a year to Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, in perpetuity.
It was one of Canada’s largest-ever legacy gifts.
The Juravinskis have called Hamilton home for decades and lived through the Great Depression. They became self-made millionaires as owners of Flamboro Downs, a racetrack.