Health care, entrepreneurialism and community: these three words mean the world to Paul and Lawrene Larche and their family. On the heels of the provincial announcement that Georgian will be able to offer a stand-alone Honours Bachelor of Science – Nursing degree at its Barrie and Owen Sound campuses, the Larche Family Foundation has announced its commitment of $150,000 to the college.
A portion of the donation will go to the Frontline Support: Health-care Heroes Closer to Home campaign to enhance nursing learning spaces at the Barrie and Owen Sound campuses and purchase vital equipment.
“We are so grateful to the Larche family for their generosity,” said Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO of Georgian College. “Not only will these funds contribute to the development of the next generation of nurses greatly needed in our region, this donation will also help foster entrepreneurship and innovation to drive a stronger economy. This strategic approach is a true reflection of Paul and Lawrene’s values combined with their exceptional entrepreneurial and innovative skills. Thank you Paul and Lawrene.”
Paul and Lawrene describe the gift as the perfect way to unite their family’s passions for local health care and entrepreneurial success. The Larche donation will be put to good use at the college to help renovate key spaces and purchase critical equipment to enhance the learning and provide simulation learning for future nurses.
“For our health-care community to be stronger, it’s going to be a challenge that’s going to come from many directions, and one of them is going to be raising money,” said Paul. “The other one’s going to be to educate people and get them to want to stay here.”
“We have some wonderful friendships with people who are involved in the health-care sector and we’re always hearing from them how staffing is a major disruption,” added Lawrene. “The ripple effect of the nursing shortage isn’t just, ‘Will somebody be at my bedside?’ but, ‘Can I have my surgery?’”
The other half of the foundation’s total donation will go toward supporting the cutting-edge work of the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre, in particular the creation of an innovative sound studio at the Barrie Campus.
Paul and Lawrene are passionate supporters of Georgian and their connections to the college run deep, including having a son attend the Robbert Hartog Midland Campus. They have served as volunteer leaders in a variety of roles.
Lawrene has been a key member of Georgian’s organizing committee for the annual Dream Gala for many years, helping to raise more than $1.1 million in critical funds to provide students with awards and scholarships during their educational journey.
Paul, who is President and CEO of Larche Communications Inc., a media company and digital branding agency, joined Georgian’s Board of Governors in September 2015 and served as Chair of the Advancement Committee, and then Vice-Chair for two years and ultimately Chair of the board for the 2020-2021 academic year.
The couple started the Larche Family Foundation to inspire their five children to give back to their communities, just as they were inspired by Paul’s father who generously supported the hospital in Timmins after his wife died of cancer.
Georgian’s Frontline Support campaign’s $3-million initiative will unite the support of individuals, corporate partners, local governments and foundations to provide a sector-leading educational experience by renewing facilities and equipment, transforming technology, fostering student success and funding essential community-based research.