Bill and Mary Dorssers
Bill & Mary Dorssers: Leading the way in philanthropy
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.
Denise and Michael Tew
How will you leave your legacy?
We are truly grateful for all of our donors who have made or designated planned gifts for the CKHA Foundation in their estates.
Denise Tew is an advocate for local health care with plans to leave a legacy that will affect generations. An avid gardener and bird-lover, Denise has a smile that lights up the room, and an undeniably positive outlook on life.
As a health and nutrition specialist and teacher in her working days, Denise lived in cities across Southwestern Ontario, including Sarnia, London, and Chatham. For this reason, her decision to leave a substantial gift in her estate for the CKHA Foundation speaks to years of positive experiences at the hospital here in Chatham-Kent.
“I’ve been treated well every time I’ve been in the hospital,” she says. “I’ve lived a good life, and I have the money available to give, so the decision was an easy one. I know that hospitals are always in need of new facilities and equipment, so I’m positive that my money will be well-spent on the future of healthcare in Chatham-Kent.”
Denise recalls one particular instance, years ago, when a trip to the Chatham hospital left her feeling understood, reassured, and truly cared for.
“I visited the Emergency Department, afraid that there was a problem with my heart,” she recalls. “I arrived at the hospital in a panic. The doctor who saw me kept me there for hours, running a number of tests, and I was so relieved when she told me that there was nothing wrong. Because she was so thorough, I knew that I didn’t have to worry.”
The wonderful staff at CKHA have been producing positive patient stories like this for decades. Sometimes, these experiences leave lasting impressions that lead to legacy-defining donations. Thanks to Denise’s generosity and foresight, this significant estate gift will ensure that generations of Chatham-Kent residents have access to high-quality healthcare in their local hospital sites.
How will you leave your legacy?
Inspired to provide ongoing support.
As a Foundation, we are profoundly grateful for each and every one of our donors for their commitment to healthcare here in Chatham-Kent. Many of our supporters opt to pledge a monthly gift to the Foundation to provide ongoing support for equipment, innovation, and compassionate care at CKHA, for which we are also appreciative.
Meet Mel Goddard, a Blenheim resident and retired Aircraft Mechanic with a unique story to tell and a particular passion for giving back to his community. Mel became a monthly contributor to the Foundation back in January for the comfort and control that it offers him as a donor.
“Life has been good to me,” Mel noted. “I’ve had my share of difficulties just like everyone else, but I have enough to give some back to important cause, and that’s exactly what I do. Donating monthly gives me the ability to give generously which keeping control to ensure that I have enough money to make the donation every month.”
In his younger days, Mel had success in a number of different careers before becoming a licensed aircraft mechanic. He also dedicated himself to his passions, which included spending days or ever weeks at a time hiking and backpacking trails across Ontario and Quebec.
Nowadays, Mel sees the importance more and more of donating in support of the Foundation and our local hospital sites.
“I’ve been in good health for the most part, but I still need to use the hospital’s services from time to time, and I know that they have a real need for importance pieces of new equipment,” Mel said. “I’ve always had positive experiences at the hospital, so I was happy to start donating monthly to support the work being done there.”
We are inspired by Mel’s generosity and willingness to support local healthcare, and we do hope that more and more Chatham-Kent residents will join him in pledging a monthly gift to the Foundation.
Whether large or small, we can assure you that your monthly gift will have a major impact on our hospital. Mel’s donations make a real difference for our community, and so will yours!