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Donald Kaye says he hopes his $30-million gift will enhance outpatient services for people who live in rural areas and who have to travel to Edmonton frequently for appointments.

Ian Jackson/The Globe and Mail

The Donor: Donald Kaye

The Gift: $30-million

The Cause: The University Hospital Foundation in Edmonton

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The Reason: To help finance a new outpatient clinic

When Donald Kaye was a young business manager establishing his career in Edmonton in the 1960s, he decided to dabble in real estate.

Mr. Kaye bought an apartment building in Edmonton, then a shopping mall in Leduc and eventually another shopping mall. As his career advanced, his portfolio grew.

Now 84, Mr. Kaye has decided to donate the bulk of his investments, $30-million, to Edmonton's University Hospital.

"I lived and worked in Edmonton most of my life and I wanted to give back to the community that made my professional success possible," said Mr. Kaye, who grew up on a farm in rural Alberta and worked at a variety of national companies as a credit manager.

The donation is Mr. Kaye's first and it is the largest gift ever made to the hospital. The money will fund several programs at the recently opened Kaye Edmonton Clinic. The $400-million facility offers a variety of outpatient services, from orthopedic and day surgery clinics, to family medicine and seniors clinics.

It will also house a urology centre, prostate cancer unit, sports medicine facility and an adult mental health clinic.

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Mr. Kaye hopes the gift will especially enhance outpatient services for people who live in rural areas and who have to travel to Edmonton frequently for appointments.

Mr. Kaye has been reluctant to take the spotlight for the gift, preferring to remain in the background.

When asked how he felt about the donation, he chuckled and replied: "I feel great. That's a short answer."

pwaldie@globeandmail.com

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