Peace Arch Hospital Foundation Donor Story

Not just a drop in the bucket

Janita Hubbard,
Philanthropy Assistant,
Peace Arch Hospital Foundation

As a young girl growing up in Berlin during the Second World War, Jutta Koloska could never have imagined how interesting her life’s journey would be. After losing her father to the war and her sister to illness, Jutta and her mother lived as refugees in Russian-occupied East Berlin. She completed high school in Passau, and with her mother wanting a better life for her daughter, found herself crossing the Atlantic to Halifax, alone, at the age of 18. A long train journey would bring her to Prince Rupert where she worked as a dietitian before finally settling in Burnaby in 1960. It was there she fell in love with the boy next door.

“Fritzie worked in the barbershop right next to my dry cleaning and alterations store,” Jutta recalls with a smile. “I had to chase him because he was so shy, but we came from the same background and had so much in common that it was meant to be.” They created a full life together with music, travel and dancing. Jutta and Fritz moved to South Surrey in 1990, and sadly, Fritz was diagnosed with a brain tumor just a few years later.

Fritz eventually passed away peacefully in Peace Arch Hospital’s Weatherby Pavilion, a residential care facility. Both Jutta and Fritz had placed the hospital in their wills prior to his passing, and while she was appreciative of the care provided to her husband in his final days, she was concerned that the capacity of the hospital would not be able to meet the growing needs of the community. Fritz’s experience inspired Jutta to advocate for her hospital, and she’s passionate about helping to ensure that quality care is available for everyone.

Janita and Evelyn, Peace Arch Hospital Foundation
Janita and her daughter Evelyn at the Pumpkin Run Walk, a community fundraising event for the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation in October 2018. PHOTO BY ADRIENNE THIESSEN.

“You may think your contribution is only a small drop in the bucket,” Jutta says. “But it only takes a few drops until the bucket is full.” Peace Arch Hospital Foundation shared Jutta’s story and her words resonated throughout the community. Their campaign for a new residential care facility is now fully funded, due in part to those drops in the bucket, including legacy gifts, large and small. Thanks to donors like Fritz, the new facility will welcome residents in early 2020.

Peace Arch Hospital Foundation

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