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Late philanthropist gifts 3 Saskatoon foundations with $10M

Bob Steane's final act of generosity gifts over $10 million through his estate to three Saskatoon foundations. Nathaniel Dove / Global News

Three Saskatoon foundations were gifted over $10 million by the estate of Robert ‘Bob’ Steane.

Members of the Saskatoon Community Foundation, Royal University Hospital Foundation (RUHF) and St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation said they were shocked by Steane’s final act of generosity.

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“In excess of $10 million through an estate is phenomenal. I think we were all very, very humbled and shocked, as well as our board of directors,” said RUHF CEO Arla Gustafson.

“What Bob’s legacy has done for each of us is allow us to plan for a future. A gift of this level and this size, it really does allow you to think outside of the box,” said St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation CEO Lecina Hickie.

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“We were surprised at level of the gift.”

The money is intended to help the foundations promote the arts, address homelessness, accelerate trauma care, advance mental health and medical imaging and support end-of-life hospice care.

“It’s not insurmountable to deal with 475 individuals who are in a state of homeless,” said Saskatoon Community Foundation CEO Carm Michealenko.

“We hope it will also encourage others to join forces in that way … we want to thank Bob for all that he’s done.”

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Steane’s mining career with Saskatoon-based Cameco spanned 34 years. He retired in 2017 as the company’s senior vice-president and chief operating officer.

Organizers said Steane was a lifelong volunteer and a donor to Saskatoon charities too numerous to mention. He passed away in July at the age of 69.

The three foundations said they are honouring the philanthropist’s gift by launching a city-wide Be a Bob campaign to encourage everyone to consider giving, volunteering and leaving a legacy in their own way.

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The announcement was made on Giving Tuesday, a globally recognized day of generosity and volunteering.

“It’s a day that we launch the giving season and we encourage everybody … to not only think what you could do with your time as a volunteer, to give philanthropically — give a donation to organizations that make a difference to you,” Gustafson said.

“We will be matching all gifts that come to us over the holiday season through to March through Bob’s legacy for the Ready When You’re Not campaign … It will maximize what we will be able to do for healthcare.”

-With files from Nathaniel Dove

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