- May 9, 2022
- Posted by: ckha
- Category: Donor Stories
Pictured above: Bill and Mary Dorssers enjoying a spring morning at their lovely home in Blenheim.
Bill and Mary Dorssers are no strangers to hard work. From modest beginnings, having emigrated from Holland to Canada at young ages, both witnessed firsthand the sacrifices that their parents made to give their children a chance to live out the Canadian dream.
As the youngest of fifteen children, at the age of eighteen, Bill got straight to work when he and his family settled in to the Blenheim area. Bill, along with his siblings, took on any work he could find. Eventually, he and one of his brothers started a business building grain elevators, before branching out into other business ventures as well.
“There were no eight to five jobs. There was a lot of travel, long days, and hard work,” says Bill. “That made family life hard as well, with Mary spending so much time raising the kids while I was working.”
Bill and Mary’s hard work and dedication led to significant financial success, although the Dorssers family always lived modestly. This meant that, when Bill approached retirement age and began to divest from his business interests, they had accrued considerable wealth. Our community has benefitted significantly from their generosity in the decades since.
“We set up the William and Mary Dorssers Foundation with the goal of supporting local health care and education,” Mary states. “Our hope is that the Foundation will continue to help the community for a long time, even after we’re gone.”
Through their Foundation, the Dorssers have donated over $300,000 to our local hospitals over the past 25 years. According to Bill, the decision to support health care in Chatham-Kent was a simple one.
“We know that hospitals always need money. Our hospitals here in Chatham-Kent have so many important projects and equipment that aren’t funded by the government,” he says. “We’re committed to helping out in any way we can, as our hospitals do so much good for so many in our community.”
Bill and Mary lead by example. Their commitment to philanthropy is something they have also passed down to their children and grandchildren. Their immense generosity, quiet and understated as it’s always been, is truly an inspiration.
Both remain in good health at home in Blenheim, quick to laugh and eager to tell stories of past adventures. Bill looks forward to playing in the CKHA Foundation Golf Tournament every single year.
Although no one knows what the future holds, one thing is certain: through a lifetime of hard work, success, and generosity, the Dorssers are sure to leave a philanthropic legacy that will profoundly affect generations here in Chatham-Kent.