The Following Article was
originally printed in the Montreal Gazette
started in hospital ward sparked charitable fund
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Twelve years ago, Bob McEwen’s son, Tim, was rushed to the neuroscience
ward at the Montreal Children’s Hospital following a serious hockey
injury that could have left him paralyzed for life. In the next bed, lay
a courageous infant, a meningitis survivor who had undergone three brain
operations before he was even eight months old. His name was Brent
Mingo. He suffered from epilepsy. His dream was one day to play hockey
with the big boys.
When it finally came time to take Tim home, West Islander McEwen stood on
the steps of the hospital with his wife, Marg, and daughter, Kelly, and
made a pledge both to himself and to the friendship that had sprung up
between the two youngsters.
“I realized that there were many patients and parents who were not as
fortunate as we were. We were able to leave as a strong and united
family, while many couldn’t,” he said this week. “We also realized that
so many little things are so important to the kids and their families.
And we decided there and then to try and bring our own families, friends
and business connections together to help them as best we could.
“At that time, I was coaching hockey at Dawson College and I just knew
that I could make Tim’s dream come true.”
And so was born the Mingo-McEwen Fund (MMF), based at the Macdonald
Campus in Ste. Anne de Bellevue where Bob McEwen subsequently coached
hockey and, equipped with a wish list from the hospital, they embarked
on their great adventure. His commitment gave rise to the annual John
Abbott Islanders Hockey Tournament with Brent being named honorary
captain of the team. That first year, a hockey game raised $5,500.
Next, he created the Annual Mingo-McEwen Golf Tournament, now Ste. Anne
de Bellevue’s major fundraiser for the Children’s, raising urgently
needed funds to help the neuroscience ward, improve health care through
the purchase of medical equipment and to give patients and family
privacy and dignity by providing them with a home away from home.
As success grew, McEwen saw the need for help at two additional
institutions and he is now also extremely active on behalf of the
Canadian War Veterans’ Hospital and the West Island Palliative Care
In late July, following the fund’s phenomenally successful tourney at
the Dorval Golf Course, McEwen and his dedicated team of volunteers,
donors and supporters, raised an incredible $58,000 for the cause. And
Tim and his buddy Brent could not have been more proud.
McEwen, a Ste. Anne de Bellevue councillor and successful businessman,
brushes aside all praise for his unstinting volunteer work.“It is the staff, parents, patients and children who are the real
heroes. They are the reason that I and so many others who believe in
them do what we do,” he said.
“Of course, a very special thank you must go out to my beloved wife,
Marg, without whose support for the past 32 years, I would never have
been able to live out my dreams. And I shall always remember what she
tells me time and time again about our son’s injury in 1996. Namely,
that something so good has been created from something that could have
been so bad.”
If you would like to know more about MMF and how you can help keep the
dream alive, call Bob McEwen at 514-984-3598. He would love to hear from