Ernie and Norma Schell’s Lifetime of Giving

Fifty-seven years.

That’s how long Ernie and Norma Schell’s association with the Children’s Hospital of Manitoba goes back. And what a meaningful and productive association it has been!

The Schell’s first experienced the hospital when their daughter Gerda was born. She developed infections and required repeated blood transfusions. Ernie minces no words.

“If it had not been for the unbelievably good help we received, Gerda would not be with us today.”

And thanks to the generous support of the Children’s Hospital of Manitoba’s donors, the hospital was able to provide exactly the care she needed. Now in retirement herself, Gerda had a highly successful and varied career in real estate, fashion design and work with the developmentally delayed. Her parents never forgot and over the years both have steadily given back to the hospital and to the people it serves.

Gerda’s mother, the former Norma Philip, enjoyed roles as a lab assistant, dental technician and homemaker. She volunteered with the hospital’s Guild, helped to establish the annual Book Market and eventually became the Guild’s president.

Ernie, now a retired Vice-President and Director after 48 years with RBC Dominion Securities, supported the hospital in many ways too. At Christmas, he spent gratifying hours as Santa Claus visiting in the hospital’s burn ward, sometimes just holding the children’s hands. He also served on the hospital’s Foundation Board for 30 years, retiring in 2014. Under his leadership, its portfolio increased in value from $2.5 to $22.5 million. How many former patients remember his gentle kindness? How many more children can now be helped thanks to his financial acumen?

The Schell’s have chosen to remember the Children’s Hospital of Manitoba with a gift in their wills. It was an easy decision for them to make. They knew what good the hospital does, and they wanted their support to continue after they were gone. Their future gift is undesignated so it may be used wherever the need is greatest. And if anyone is considering remembering the hospital with a legacy gift, Ernie laughs and says, “Contact your lawyer and full steam ahead!” He encourages people to take a personal interest in the hospital, to visit, to get to know what’s going on. They will see “the tremendous work that is undertaken thanks to donor support.”

Thanks to good people like Ernie and Norma Schell, we can continue to help sick children. You too can hold the hand of a child through your legacy gift. Contact us to learn more.