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The donors: Fred Losani and family

The gift: Almost $2-million and climbing

The Cause: Free the Children

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The reason: To support health programs in Ecuador and Kenya

A few years ago, Fred Losani was part of a team that skied to the North Pole to raise money for Hamilton-area charities through his family foundation.

After the trek, which raised $500,000, Mr. Losani wanted to do something more international with the foundation. A colleague introduced him to Free the Children, and Mr. Losani soon got involved with one of the organization's programs in Kenya. His three children joined the effort, which included health-care facilities, a school and food services.

Now the family has branched out to Ecuador, joining a Free the Children project there that supplies clean water and medical help to villages in the Amazon basin. So far the family, through the Losani Family Foundation, has donated almost $2-million to the charity.

"For us it's almost mission work," said Mr. Losani, who lives in Grimsby, Ont., and is the chief executive of home construction company Losani Homes. "It's exciting."

pwaldie@globeandmail.com

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