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Local business owner makes $1-million donation to Compassion House Foundation

Last Updated Jul 21, 2022 at 11:16 am MST

Sorrentino's Compassion House in Edmonton, Alta. Photo courtesy of Bryan Cooper, and supplied by Compassion House Foundation/Facebook.

The Compassion House Foundation has received a generous donation from local business owner and philanthropist, Liam Burgess.

The Edmonton-based charity announced the $1-million commitment stands as the largest individual donation in the 25-year history of the organization.

Funds will support women across western Canada, including Fort McMurray, who must leave home for cancer care.

Sorrentino’s Compassion House in Edmonton provides affordable and comfortable accommodations for women undergoing cancer treatment, as well as post-treatment programs and services.

To date, the non-profit Foundation supported 1937 women during their cancer journey, including 173 from Wood Buffalo.

READ MORE: Cancer survivors able to connect through new partnership

Michelle Okere, CEO of Compassion House Foundation, called the donation a transformational gift.

“Through the generosity of Liam Burgess and his family, we have the opportunity to expand our wrap-around services to women and their families during treatment, and perhaps more importantly, as they move into the isolating post-treatment phase of the cancer journey.”

Liam Burgess is the President and CEO of AirCon Technologies of Fort McMurray, which provides heavy equipment services.

Burgess has a personal connection with the Compassion House Foundation having lost his mother, Georgina, to cancer in 2020.

A chance connection arose with the Foundation when Okere announced their shuttle was involved in an automobile accident, and written off.

Burgess helped purchase a new van, which transports 16 guests a day to and from Edmonton’s Cross Cancer Institute.

He said his mother would be proud to be associated with the Community House Foundation.

“She felt there was a large focus on cancer research and cancer prevention, but she would always say to me, ‘Where is the support for the people who are dealing with the rollercoaster ride that cancer puts people through? I’ve seen the work Compassion House Foundation does and it completely aligns with what I believe my mom was looking for during her battle with cancer.”

For more information on the Compassion House Foundation, and their Sorrentino’s Compassion House, visit their website.