The establishment of Villa Leonardo Gambin Charity would not have been possible without the presence of the Famee Furlane Toronto. Friuli Long-Term Care (the precursor of Villa Leonardo Gambin Charity) was established by the Famee Furlane Toronto in November 2000 in response to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announcement of the 2001 Bed Allocations process, requesting applicants to submit proposals for the issuance of long-term care beds.
In May 2001, Friuli Long-Term Care entered into a formal agreement with the Ministry to develop a 168 bed long-term care residence on the Famee Furlane Toronto campus in Woodbridge, ON. In August, Friuli Long-Term Care structured itself as a registered charity.
Between 2001 and 2003, the Charity’s Board of Directors undertook three broad initiatives: architectural /construction planning; project financing; and capital campaign fundraising. The Honourable Frank Iacobucci, then a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, was named the Honorary Chair of the Charity. The $3 million Building a Mosaic of Care Capital Fundraising Campaign was publicly launched at the Charity’s inaugural gala held in October 2002.
Construction of the long-term care residence began in early 2003 and was officially celebrated at a groundbreaking ceremony in May. Exterior construction (i.e., roof topping) was completed by October 2003. Construction at this point was directed towards interior rough-in and culminated in the FF&E (furniture, fixture and equipment) installation. Simultaneously, the pre-occupancy training process (i.e., hiring and training of staff) commenced to ensure that the care delivery function was fully operational by opening day.
In April 2004 the Charity announced that Luigi and Sergina Gambin would become its capital campaign major benefactors and name sake of the new residence. Going forward, the residence would be referred to as Villa Leonardo Gambin, in honour of Luigi Gambin’s late father.
On Friday, October 22, 2004, Angela Orlando became Villa Leonardo Gambin’s first resident. The official opening of the residence, attended by over 500 guests including many dignitaries, was held on Saturday, October 30, 2004.
There is no denying that the dedicated work of the Famèe Furlane members and the Villa Leonardo Gambin Charity’s Board of Directors made the dream of providing healthcare services to seniors and adults with special needs a reality. But this would not have been possible without the financial support from community donations to help fund the construction and for that we are eternally thankful.
If you would like to know more about Famèe Furlane Toronto please visit www.fameefurlane.com