Planned gift donation used to grow therapeutic garden

Diane Crocker
Published on June 23, 2013
One-hundred-and-one-year-old Hilda Gillingham, left, the oldest resident of the Corner Brook Long Term Care Home, and Scott Johnson, great-great nephew of Robert and Edith Skinner, planted a lilac tree to officially open the therapeutic garden at the home on Friday.

Star photo by Diane Crocker

CORNER BROOK  Residents at the Corner Brook Long Term Care home now have a space where they can go and enjoy the outdoors and even do a little bit of gardening.

The therapeutic garden at the home was officially opened on Friday. The garden was made possible through a donation of $500,000 from the estate of Robert and Edith Skinner.

Mr. Skinner died in 2008 and Mrs. Skinner in 2010. The Pasadena couple arranged the planned gift request to the Western Regional  Hospital Foundation through their will.

Planned gifts, like the Skinners’, are earmarked by the foundation for large projects outside of its annual case for support. A press release on the garden’s opening said the projects provide a humanitarian legacy for donors long after they have died.

Mr. Skinner was a former teacher who later operated the Lakeland Lodge and Motel in Pasadena. He was also a pilot and established a number of fishing camps in northern Labrador and hunting camps on the island. Mrs. Skinner spent some of her younger years working as a nurse and prior to her death lived in one of the long-term care bungalows on Wheeler’s Road.

During the garden opening, Jeff Follett, executor of their estate, said the use of the money was well suited to the Skinners. “The reason why it’s so important I think is because the Skinners had a passion for nature and the outdoors. Gardening in particular was one of their main hobbies.”

He said the Skinners would definitely be pleased that some of their donation went to the garden.

See ‘ACCESSIBLE’ on page 2

“This garden will provide our residents, families and staff with an outdoor space that is accessible and safe, as well as therapeutically functional,” said Patricia Barrett, recreation development/specialist at the home, in the prepared release.

The garden features a variety of flowers, trees and shrubs, a small shed, a wheelchair accessible swing (donated by the Long Term Care Auxiliary), a water fountain benches and small garden boxes that residents can plant flowers and vegetables in.

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