Media Advisory / Interview & Photo Opportunity - Pioneers In Excellence

A Tribute Event Celebrating the Contributions of the De Gasperis Family and Dr. Fred Gentili to Villa Charities and UHN

TORONTO, April 23, 2015 /CNW/ - On Thursday, April 30, 2015, Villa Charities and Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation (TGWHF) will co-host 'Pioneers in Excellence', a tribute event celebrating the distinguished accomplishments of the De Gasperis Family and Dr. Fred Gentili. The event will take place at the Liberty Grand and proceeds will support Villa Colombo Vaughan and a Chair in Skull Base Neurosurgery, the first of its kind in Canada, at Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network (UHN).

The evening will feature two videos produced especially for the event.  One will feature the De Gasperis Family for their illustrious success and contributions in the construction and home building industries and their unprecedented leadership in community development and philanthropy, including their support of both Villa Charities and Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation. The second video will feature the pioneering innovations, surgical expertise and dedication to advancing research and innovation in complex neurosurgery by Dr. Fred Gentili.

"Of my 45-plus years of doing fundraisers this ranks number 1. It is an honour to recognize and celebrate these outstanding luminaries in their own fields and it has been an absolute privilege to work alongside these two organizations and my distinguished and dedicated fellow committee members." said Sam Ciccolini, co-chair of Pioneers in Excellence.

"People form the bedrock of a community and thanks to the generosity of the De Gasperis Family, our community has flourished and prospered.  Dr. Fred Gentili's expertise as a surgeon and his genius as an innovator have saved countless lives. He has educated a generation of surgeons in this marvelous new approach to difficult brain surgery. We are so thrilled tonight to be celebrating the contributions of these great Canadians." added Dr. Michael Baker, Rose Family Chair in Medicine, UHN and co-chair of Pioneers in Excellence.

Guests will also enjoy a dazzling evening of entertainment provided by Italian-Canadians: Soprano Lucia Cesaroni, the jazz vocals of Luke Maxim and his band and 17 year-old violin virtuoso Daniele Monticelli

Interview and Photo Opportunity: please call in advance to schedule interview and photo opportunity (contact information below)


Thursday, April 30, 2015


Liberty Grand, 25 British Columbia Road, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3


6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  Media interviews and photos in the Governor's Room

6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Reception

VIPs available for photo and media interviews include:

  • Dr. Fred Gentili, Neurosurgeon, UHN
  • Jim V. De Gasperis, President, CEO, Condrain Group
  • Sam Ciccolini, C.M., O.Ont., C.O.S.S.M.Ot. and co-chair of Pioneers in Excellence
  • Dr. Michael Baker, Rose Family Chair in Medicine, UHN and co-chair of Pioneers in Excellence
  • Rudolph P. Bratty, Honorary co-chair
  • Leo Goldhar, Honorary co-chair
  • Tennys Hanson, President & CEO, TGWHF
  • Pal Di Iulio, President & CEO, Villa Charities


  • Please check-in with the media desk upon arrival
  • Event onsite media access will be limited to the above times
  • RSVP MANDATORY FOR INTERVIEW AND PHOTO OPPORTUNITY. Valet parking voucher issued upon confirmation.

To donate, please visit

About Villa Charities
Villa Charities provides culturally sensitive care for an elderly Italian Canadian population and individuals with intellectual disabilities and mental health issues. It also promotes youth engagement and education and offers cultural programming for all. The Villa Charities family of organizations includes Villa Colombo Services for Seniors, Columbus Centre/ Carrier Art Gallery, apartments for independent seniors, and Villa Colombo Vaughan Di Poce Centre.

About University Health Network
University Health Network (UHN) consists of Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. The scope of research and complexity of cases have made UHN a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care.  It has the largest hospital-based research program in Canada with major research in cardiology, transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, and genomic medicine.  UHN is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto.

About Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation
Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation (TGWHF) raises funds for research, education and the enhancement of patient care at Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital as well as for their respective research arms, Toronto General Research Institute and Toronto Western Research Institute. The Foundation's vision is to enable global leadership and innovation in healthcare by developing and sustaining strong relationships with University Health Network stakeholders.

SOURCE Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation

Image with caption: "Villa Charities (CNW Group/Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation (CNW Group/Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation)". Image available at:

For further information: For photo and interview opportunities please contact: Jean Jarvis, Senior Development Officer, Villa Charities Foundation, 416.789.7011 ext. 321,; Additional Contact: Megan Goldwell, Senior Manager, Corporate Partnerships and Event Public Relations, Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation, Tel: 416-340-5240,


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Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation

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