Children’s Health Foundation honours the late Margaret Smith for $2.5 million legacy gift for Island kids

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Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island is honoured to receive an astounding $2.5 million legacy gift, left by the late Margaret Delphine Smith.

“We were so moved to learn that Margaret had left this substantial gift in her will to support Island kids for generations to come,” says Veronica Carroll, CEO at Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. “We are so inspired by her foresight and know firsthand how much this will truly make a difference in community.”

Margaret was a beloved philanthropist, volunteer, wife, and friend. She loved to travel, spoke several languages, entertained friends, gardened, and loved giving back to the community.

One of her closest friends was Annie Huus, who lived down the street from Margaret for more than 50 years. During this decades-long friendship, Margaret grew close with Annie’s late daughter Lisa Huus, who lived with infantile muscular atrophy, a physical health challenge. While she had many limitations physically, Lisa was intelligent, she had a strong zest for life, and she was determined to go to post-secondary school. She attended Cordova Bay Elementary, Royal Oak Middle School, Claremont Secondary, and was attending her third year at the University of Victoria when she passed away.

To honour Lisa’s legacy, her family created the Lisa Huus Memorial Fund in 1988, which would support other youth with physical health challenges to attend or continue their post-secondary education. Led by Annie and administered by the Foundation, the bursary is now in its 31st year and has disbursed more than 100 bursaries and $180,000 to date. Almost a third of those funds were disbursed in 2019 thanks to Margaret’s gift.

“Margaret and Lisa had a close friendship and Margaret was inspired by Lisa’s determination. She believed everyone deserved a chance and made this gift to support other children like Lisa, well into the future,” says Annie.

Margaret’s legacy gift in support of the Lisa Huus Bursary will help ensure children can get the financial support they need to alleviate physical barriers to receiving an education.