Dennis Day, left, Vi Day and Laura Gawletz of the Jim Pattinson Children’s Hospital Foundation on June 1 at the oil show. Handout

WEYBURN – Dennis Day of the Carnduff-based Day Group of Companies donated $250,000 to the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital on June 1.

The announcement was made on the opening day of the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show in Weyburn. That day his mother, Vi Day, was honoured as a Southeast Saskatchewan Legend.

The donation has been several years in the making, according to Dennis. He said the hospital’s foundation contacted him a couple years ago, but that was a tough time in the oil business. “Things weren’t real great yet,” Dennis told Pipeline Online on June 2.

“A couple months ago, she came down and I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll give you $250,000.’ She asked me why I was doing that. Did I have to have a kid that got sick or somebody’s kid got sick? I said, ‘No. I’ve just been pretty fortunate and I just care about everybody.”

In recognition of this impactful gift, a treatment room within Day Medicine and Pediatric Oncology at Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital will be named in Dennis Day’s honour, the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation said. This specialized room serves children from all corners of Saskatchewan every single day as they receive vital care in their treatment plans, including chemotherapy, blood transfusions, and insulin therapy. Bright windows, room for engaging activities, and calming images provide a space for children to feel comfortable while treatments can last for hours.

Laura Gawletz, philanthropy manager with the JPCHF, said at the oil show, “We are just so thankful for Dennis Day’s gift to our foundation that’s going to help us continue that incredible research as well as provide urgently needed equipment and innovation, as well as programming. It’s supporting a treatment room in our day medicine and pediatric oncology unit, which serves kids for long hours as they receive treatment for blood transfusions or chemotherapy and insulin therapies as well.”

She noted that for a long time, funds were raised to build the hospital. But now that it’s up and running, there’s more to be done, especially coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s been a long, two years, as a lot of people understand, right? And so, as we look forward, we’re really at that baseline, because our province was the one of two provinces that didn’t have a children’s hospital. So now that we have this incredible facility, it’s just the beginning. So, we’re going to continue to serve families across the province through that programming, and that innovative equipment, because we’re absolutely not done. Children will continue to get sick, and families will continue to need our support.”

Heather Hedstrom, also with the hospital, said, “So many more specialist doctors have come now, since it’s opened. So, we’re able to treat more of those different medical specialties.”

JPCHF president & CEO, Brynn Boback-Lane, said in a release, “Dennis Day’s deep commitment to community, family and well-being are true Saskatchewan values; ones which the children and families from all four corners of our province are fortunate to benefit from. Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation is extremely grateful to Dennis for his generous gift to Saskatchewan’s Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital and the children and families who need its specialized services each and every day.”