The Montesano Legacy: Generosity Steeped in Civic Responsibility

di Joe Volpe del April 30, 2019

TORONTO - Vaughan, April 26, 2019.

Surrounded and joined by a close group of friends and neighbours, Dan and Madeleine were hosted in the o­ce of the Mayor of Vaughan, Maurizio Bevilacqua for a special event, a celebration of giving and recognition.

Mayor Bevilacqua welcomed his long-time friends as if they were in his living room. Life is an ongoing challenge, he said, in opening.

Good companionship can make its pleasurable moments that much more satisfying and its struggles that much easier to meet and overcome. It makes you understand that we have much for which to be thankful.

Dan and Madeleine Montesano have been married for almost 46 years. They built up a successful business, Lido Construction, which has, yearly - for over 40 years - provided 100 families an opportunity to earn a good income and live out their ambitions.

“We wanted to contribute to our community, through which we have earned much”, said Madeleine about their donation to the MacKenzie Regional Hospital Foundation, “it is our way of giving something back to the community”.

Ingrid Perry, Chair of the Foundation was there in the o­ce of the Mayor of Vaughan, Maurizio Bevilacqua, to receive the gift. She saw the donation as significant, not only for the amount - $100,000.00 – but for its message to all citizens of Vaughan.

“The hospital is going up, thanks to people like Dan and Madeleine who believe that it is part of the legacy of good citizenship to build an infrastructure of service for their neighbours”, she said in response to the Montesano gesture, adding that, “so far, about 2,000 other private and corporate citizens have made contributions of varying amounts.

We hope many others will see motivation in this event”. Dan Montesano, a man of few words, agreed. “Madeleine and I wanted to share our good fortune and contribute, within our means, to making our city a better place.

Who knows, sooner or later, we may all be in need, directly or indirectly, of each other. I hope others will feel and make the donation their circumstance permit”, he said almost overcome with emotion. Sam and Gemma Primucci of Pizza Nova, themselves no strangers to act of giving, hugged their friends in thanks.

“This is not Lido’s first contribution”, noted Sam, “Dan and I go back several decades. He and Madeleine have stepped up to this plate and many others before; and I suspect he will continue to do so.” Joe and Alida Dussin, patrons of the Lupus Organization of Ontario – but more importantly neighbours and friends of the Montesano, couldn’t agree more.

“Their sense of generosity is commendable; they are supportive and involved – just as you would like your neighbours to be”, commented Alida. Rocco and Maria Grossi, another couple with close ties to Dan and Madeleine, agreed: “they are great couple, warm, unpretentious yet committed to the community – easy to be friends with, an honour, really”.

These are sentiments shared by three parliamentarians who attended the brief ceremony: The Hon. Judy Sgro, the Hon. Francesco Sorbara and the Hon. Deb Shulte. The latter was a Councillor in Vaughan when the Hospital seemed a far-away dream stuck in the controversy swirling around the Vaughan Health Campus of Care.

She commented that while those impediments may have dissipated, “it’s people like the Montesano who will determine the success of the Hospital.” “True”, reflected mayor Bevilacqua, “the hospital will be the first of its kind in this part of the GTA; state of the art, fully integrated and digitally connected to the latest research and health delivery outcomes everywhere".

He added that, “while Health Care is a Provincial responsibility, the community must contribute about 250 million dollars to the physical infrastructure. Now into its third year, the campaign must raise the balance of $130 million by December 2020". Dan and Madeleine will continue to do their share and more.

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