Bruno and Annemarie Locher.

Over a decade ago, Annemarie and Bruno Locher were discussing worthy community causes to support. The couple was deeply philanthropic, supporting charities rather than spending on themselves.

Annemarie, a retired medical assistant to Dr. Paul Champion, who established VGH’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, had an idea. Why not support respiratory medicine? She had seen the profound impact of Dr. Champion’s work on patients during her five years working with him.

So the couple made a generous contribution over 10 years to the program, the only one of its kind in BC, helping patients improve exercise tolerance and endurance, increase muscle strength and address physical limitations.

They also arranged that, should one of them die within that decade, they would honour their commitment through their will – one of the first donors to VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation to arrange this.

Sadly, Bruno died in 2012, ironically of lung cancer.

In addition to their personal philanthropy, the Locher family makes ongoing annual donations through the family’s logistics business, Locher Evers International.

“The donations in Bruno’s name keep my husband’s memory alive,” she says, and remind her of his generous nature. “He had four suits and four pairs of shoes. He didn’t need anything for himself. He was a giver.”

Annemarie urges others to give. “If you can contribute to the common good, then do it. It’s the most worthwhile thing to help your neighbour, your friends, your community.”

Learn about the benefits of leaving a gift in your will.