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The donor: Beth, Jan, David and Jeanie McCharles

The gift: Raising $50,000

The cause: The Hospice Palliative Care Society of Cape Breton County

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The reason: To help build a new hospice residence

Robert McCharles had a deep attachment to Cape Breton, N.S. He participated in almost every aspect of community life, from mentoring young entrepreneurs to supporting the arts, working on environmental causes and starting a women’s hockey team.

“He lived and breathed Cape Breton island,” said his daughter Dr. Beth McCharles, a sports psychologist based in Toronto. Mr. McCharles died in 2017 after a battle with cancer, and during his final days, he received home care from staff at the Hospice Palliative Care Society of Cape Breton County. Dr. McCharles said the hospice helped create a supportive atmosphere for her father, who wanted to spend the time he had at home.

Dr. McCharles along with her mother, Jeanie, and siblings Dan and Jan, have now joined in a fundraising drive to help the society build a new 10-bed hospice residence in Sydney. They want to raise $50,000 and they’ve started with a family skating event on Dec. 21 in Toronto at the the Mattamy Athletic Centre. The family hopes the money will go toward a healing garden at the new centre in memory of Mr. McCharles.

Dr. McCharles was recently inducted into St. Francis Xavier University’s sports hall of fame for her accomplishments in soccer and hockey. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him starting a women’s hockey team.” she said before the ceremony. “He was just a great inspiration to myself, my sister and brother.”

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