Sorbara family gift inspired by tradition of generosity, leadership
Siblings Edward Sorbara, Marcella Tanzola and Gregory Sorbara stand together before a rustic log cabin that is a symbol both of their family’s deep ties to Vaughan and of the proud heritage that has helped
to make Vaughan the progressive city it is today.
Their transformational gift pledge of $5 million to the Exceptional Care Belongs Here campaign for Mackenzie Health is inspired by a family tradition of generosity and community leadership.
They hope their leadership donation will inspire others who are as equally invested in the past and future of Vaughan to join the fundraising campaign that will bring a world-class hospital to the city
“Nonno’s Cabin” lies at the edge of the Frank Robson Woodlot on Keele Street in Maple, gifted to the City of Vaughan by the Sorbara family in memory of patriarch Sam Sorbara, who refurbished the cabin on land in then rural Vaughan as a retreat for his family and friends.
Immigrating to Canada from Italy in the 1920s as a teenager, Sam established an insurance business in 1942 that laid the foundation for the family-owned real estate, planning, development, construction, investment and management firm that is the Vaughan-based Sorbara Group of Companies of today, with more than 65 years of growth.
“Our gift of $5 million to Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital continues a giving tradition, one that we were born into and continue to embrace and share with the third and fourth generations of Sorbara families,” says Greg, who is Chair of the Mackenzie Health Foundation Campaign Cabinet that is spearheading the multi-year $250-million campaign to help build Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital and enhance care at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital.
In recognition of their generous gift pledge, the provincially acclaimed York Region District Stroke Centre at Mackenzie Health and the Integrated Stroke Centre at Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital will be named in honour of the Sorbara family. A family history with stroke prompted the Sorbaras to invest in stroke prevention, care and rehabilitation with their gift. Sam passed away in 2002, 12 years after suffering a
The $5 million pledge in these early stages of the fundraising campaign continues the proud Sorbara tradition of community leadership established by their father.
Edward hopes their gift will inspire others in the building industry who have fuelled and benefited from the tremendous growth in Vaughan and Richmond Hill to also support this much needed hospital.
Marcella refers to an “obligation” and responsibility” to help build the new hospital in the city that has played a role in their family’s business success. “We want to set a high bar in an era that requires significant private support for public enterprises,” Greg adds.
The provincial government is providing funding for 90 per cent of the cost of building the new hospital in Vaughan, with the requirement that the community pay a “local share” – 10 per cent of the construction cost and 100 per cent of the equipment and technology costs.
Sam’s granddaughter, Christina Sorbara, is proud of the family tradition that her father, Edward, Aunt Marcella and Uncle Greg are honouring with their generous gift to help build the hospital.
“This gift sends a strong message to the next generation about the importance of giving back, and being involved, particularly in the city in which our family has so many connections,”
Christina says. With the groundbreaking planned for this fall, Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital will be the first hospital in Canada to feature fully integrated “smart” technology, with systems and medical devices that can “speak” directly to one another to maximize information exchange to improve the patient experience.
The Integrated Stroke Unit at Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital will feature 36 private rooms, with space for family to stay overnight, and an independent living suite where patients and their families can prepare for a safe return to home.
The York Region District Stroke Centre program at Mackenzie Health is one of 17 district stroke centres in Ontario and is recognized as a provincial leader in best practice treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of stoke.
Photo cutline: Edward Sorbara (from left), Marcella Tanzola and Greg Sorbara stand in front of “Nonno’s Cabin”, a proud family legacy for the siblings.
Vic De Zen Family pledges $10M donation to future Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital
Prominent Vaughan citizen and entrepreneur Vic De Zen and his family have pledged $10 million to help build and equip the future Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital. This is the largest donation to date from an individual to Mackenzie Health Foundation’s $250-million Exceptional Care Belongs Here campaign.
The transformational gift pledge was announced during a special celebration at Vaughan City Hall on September 27th.
“Vaughan is where my family was raised and continues to live; it’s where I built successful businesses with thousands of employees who live here and in the surrounding area. We’re very proud to give back to this great city and our community by helping to build the world-class hospital that Vaughan needs and deserves,” Mr. De Zen said at the celebration.
“Vic and Angelina De Zen and their family are defining ‘exceptional’ with this extraordinary act of generosity and early leadership in this crucially important hospital fundraising campaign,” Mackenzie Health Foundation President and CEO Ingrid Perry said. “Inspired by a commitment to community building, this gift pledge of $10 million will help to transform care for our family, friends and neighbours in southwest York Region.”
“Vic De Zen and his family embody the spirit of generosity that defines our city,” Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua said at the announcement. “Their extraordinary contribution to Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital is a demonstration of their dedication to our community and their commitment to a legacy of giving back. I thank Mr. De Zen and his family for coming forward and I am confident that their leadership will inspire others to do the same.”
Mackenzie Health is honoured to recognize the profound generosity and impact of this gift by Mr. De Zen and his family by naming the main lobby at Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital the Vic De Zen Family Welcome Centre, Mackenzie Health President and CEO Altaf Stationwala said.
According to Mr. Stationwala, the innovative, state-of-the-art and patient-centred design of the new hospital will be reflected in the soaring multi-story, natural light-filled Vic De Zen Family Welcome Centre. The warm and welcoming public space will feature extensive seating and reception, information and concierge services. The Vic De Zen Family Welcome Centre will provide direct access to the public elevators, patients relations, medical imaging, clinics and treatment areas, as well as links to a parkade, nearby cascading gardens, retail areas, restaurants, a pharmacy and health resource centre.
“An extraordinary entranceway to Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, the Vic De Zen Family Welcome Centre will set the tone for a world-class health experience,” Mr. Stationwala said.
Members of the family at the Vaughan City Hall event were (from left) Colby, Sergio, Angelina, Libby, Vic, Brittany and Jeff.
Mackenzie Health President and CEO Altaf Stationwala (from left) and Mackenzie Health Foundation Campaign Cabinet Chair Greg Sorbara were on hand Wednesday, Oct. 21 for the announcement by Magna International CEO Donald Walker (second from right) and Marc Neeb, Chief Human Resources Officer and Executive Vice-President, of a $10-million pledge to help build and equip Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital.
The gift is the largest donation yet to Mackenzie Health Foundation’s $250-million Exceptional Care Belongs Here campaign.
Thank you, Magna, for your visionary gift that is transforming care here
Magna International Inc. has pledged a $10-million gift to help build and equip the future Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital – the largest donation yet to Mackenzie Health Foundation’s $250-million Exceptional Care Belongs Here campaign.
The emergency department at the new hospital, slated for completion in 2019, will be named Magna Emergency in recognition of the transformational gift to Mackenzie Health.
“We’re exceptionally proud to make this gift on behalf of the many Magna employees in York Region,” Magna International CEO Donald Walker said. “Through community programs, volunteer work and charitable gifts, Magna remains deeply committed to improving the quality of life in all of the communities in which our employees live and work.”
Mackenzie Health Foundation’s Exceptional Care Belongs Here campaign will help build and equip Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, as well as enhance care at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital.
“This tranformational gift made by Magna employees helps make possible Mackenzie Health’s vision to provide a world-class healthcare experience in York Region,” Mackenzie Health Foundation President and CEO Ingrid Perry said.
“The leadership demonstrated by this act of generosity in the early stage of our Exceptional Care Belongs Here Campaign will raise sights and inspire philanthopy throughout our community in support of this crucially important hospital project,” she added.
Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital will have a state-of-the-art emergency department, with more than 35,000-square-feet of space, equipped to handle 75,000 visits annually.
“Mackenzie Health couldn’t be more honoured to have its new emergency — the gateway to Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital — carry the Magna name in recognition of this incredible act of generosity made by its employees,” said Mackenzie Health President and CEO Altaf Stationwala.
Magna International Inc. isa leading global automotive supplier with 287 manufacturing operations and 81 product development, engineering and sales centres in 29 countries.