Tony Stacey Centre for Veterans' Care

Tony Stacey Centre for Veterans' Care

April 18, 2005 07:30 ET

Canada's Premiere Veterans' Centre Battling for Its Future

The Year of the Veteran Pivital for Tony Stacey Centre Attention: Assignment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 18, 2005) - They braved bombs and bullets, staring death in the face, sacrificing their youth for the freedoms we take for granted. And now, sixty years on, Canada's veterans and their supporters are facing a new battle - one to save hearth and home as the Tony Stacey Centre, widely considered to be the gold standard in veterans' care, is fighting for its life.

Named for Tony Stacey, the WWII Sergeant who fought tirelessly to found it and who died one year ago today, the not-for-profit Centre is the victim of well-meaning but problematic regulations introduced by the Provincial government in 1998. 2005 is, ironically, the year that Canada has proclaimed the Year of the Veteran

The regulations in question, which address brick and mortar issues like width of doorways and hallways - not quality of care concerns -- came with deadlines and the promise of additional funding but only after a new facility was built…no small feat for an organization whose fundraising experience was limited to annual bazaars. The Centre fell far short of its 2003-2004 fundraising campaign for a new facility, which was to have cost $21.1 million dollars. The Centre now needs to raise $2.5 million dollars in very short order to meet the new guidelines and remain operationally viable.

Located in Toronto, the not-for-profit Tony Stacey Centre accepts veterans from across Canada and is distinguished by the fact that it is the only veterans' long term care facility that accepts non-serving spouses of veterans, non-overseas veterans, veterans of conflicts post Korea and peacekeepers.

Jan DeVries, a paratrooper in World War II who helped to realize the Juno Beach Museum and fought to keep the Topham Medals in Canada, and Dan McTeague, the MP serving Pickering-Scarborough East, are leading the charge to raise awareness - and funds - to help the Tony Stacey Centre continue its mission of caring for those who gave so much for our nation.

"The Tony Stacey Centre is a vital hub in the lives of veterans," said DeVries noting the importance of having a facility where spouses are not separated simply because of illness. "Canada has rallied to preserve our World War II history through the building of monuments and the saving of medals - all of which are important. Now the time has come to help the actual men and women who served our country. World War II Veterans need the Tony Stacey Centre - and so will those who have served our country since," he added, commending the vision of Tony Stacey, who began campaigning for a centre dedicated to the needs of veterans in the 1960's.

Dan McTeague, M.P. for Scarborough East- Pickering whose boundaries now include the Tony Stacey Centre for Veterans Care, said: "During 2005, the Year of the Veteran, it is important for every Canadian to reflect on what it is that those who have served our country have given us - and to look for ways to say 'thank you.' Helping to ensure the future of The Tony Stacey Centre - the leader in caring for the increasing needs of veterans -- is a way of giving back to those who have given so much."

"We would love to build a brand new facility. Our veterans deserve the very best - and of course, we must think ahead to the needs of our future residents - some of whom are currently serving," said Catherine Hilge, the Executive Director of the Tony Stacey Centre. "But if we can't build a new home, we must at least make this home the best it can possibly be and meet the brick and mortar requirements set out by the government as quickly as possible," she added, noting that as residents of the Centre age, their needs increase.

Like everything at the Tony Stacey Centre for Veterans Care, it is a resident who has the last word. Major Aleksander Rokitnicki, a WW II Ace fighter pilot, and a resident of the centre since 1997 says, "This is my home. All my friends live here."

Donations may be made through the fundraising office: 416-284-3333 or toll free at 1-800-711-0132; mail donations to 59 Lawson Road, Toronto, On. M1C 1C8. Receipts issued for all donations received. Registered Charity #107933103 RR0001. Please visit: www.staceycentre.ca

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For additional information or to arrange for an interview, please contact:

Susan McLennan
Babble On Communications Inc.
Ph: (416) 699-1846
Cell: (416) 525-5177
s.mclennan@sympatico.ca
www.staceycentre.ca
/For further information: www.staceycentre.ca/ IN: HEALTH, OTHER

Contact Information

  • Susan McLennan, Babble On Communications
    Primary Phone: 416-699-1846
    Secondary Phone: 416-525-5177
    E-mail: s.mclennan@sympatico.ca