Philanthropist: a person who seeks to promote the welfare of others. It’s a definition that suits Patrice Groleau and Debby Doktorczyk, owners of McGill Real Estate and Engel & Völkers, to a T. They have been giving back to Sainte-Justine since 2012. Read on to learn more about this family whose hearts are definitely in the right place.
Like many parents, Debby and Patrice have been to the hospital with their three children on more than one occasion: a broken arm, a high fever, appendicitis… but it was their experience in the neonatal intensive care unit with their preterm twins that really left a mark on them.
In the NICU, a remarkably quiet place for such a hive of activity, with their tiny newborns’ lives in the balance, it dawned on them how costly such a high level of care must be. From that point onward, philanthropy became an indelible part of their lives.
That was 2008. The twins are now healthy teenagers. And the family is as involved as ever with the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation.
We want to lead by example, to inspire others. And impress upon our children how good it feels to give back.
Debby and Patrice are particularly proud of their children’s burgeoning altruistic spirit. But the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree: Mila, Liam James and London have seen their parents giving to charity and getting involved in worthy causes all their lives.
This fall, they will be the ones stepping up for Sainte-Justine as they support the Youth Tree of Lights. The twins, Mila and Liam James, will be raising funds along with their fellow students at Collège Jean-Eudes, while McGill Real Estate and Engel & Völkers are serving as the official partners of the campaign’s Twinkle Club. For every donation of 10 lights or more, they will make 5 extra beacons of hope shine on the Tree.
When life is kind to you, there’s sort of a tacit obligation to do good and give back to society. Children’s health and the medicine of the future are a priority we share.
The world of philanthropy is changing. Today, corporate social responsibility isn’t an extra: it’s a must. And this is something that is emerging more and more in future generations. Patrice feels strongly that corporate philanthropy should be looked at as an investment.
He also knows that teaming up with Sainte-Justine makes his staff very proud.
We wanted to get behind an organization everyone could identify with. It didn’t take long for us to pick the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation. It’s hard to think of any other cause in Quebec that resonates so deeply with so many people.
Patrice admires how special each of the Foundation’s fundraising campaigns is and how the humanity and integrity of the organization shine through in everything they do. He is also impressed by the excellence of the teams at Sainte-Justine, a value that he embraces, both in his business and in his family life.
They’re a great bunch of people at Sainte-Justine. Everything is handled so professionally. It’s clear where every dollar goes, and their financial transparency is impeccable.
The Youth Tree of Lights: Inspiring the Next Generation of Philanthropists
The spark of philanthropy is something to be nurtured. Patrice knows this. By supporting this campaign, he hopes to motivate others to give back to Quebec youth.
I know many children are living a better life today because of these donations. I know our contribution helps save lives. It’s incredible how good it feels when you realize you have the power to make such a big difference.
This sense of commitment is shared by the students taking part in the Youth Tree of Lights campaign. Through this all-digital fundraiser, they will be reaching out to family and friends to help make the Tree of Lights shine brighter than ever. This is the second year in a row that the students from some 40 schools belonging to the Fédération des établissements d’enseignement privés (FEEP) will be giving it their all to light up the base of the Tree and kick off the Foundation’s signature holiday campaign.