We were saddened to learn of the passing of Pat Gee, a life-long supporter of Operation Eyesight, on April 10, 2014, at age 94. Pat was inspired to support Operation Eyesight when she met Art Jenkyns, who spoke at her church, Oak Bay United, in Victoria. She was moved by Art’s slideshow that showed the look on a child’s face when that child was able to see for the first time, a memory she often shared with her children.
“She believed that you could make a difference with a small donation,” recalls Pat’s daughter Maureen Hill. Pat was very active in Victoria, giving presentations and showing slides for schools and communities. She fundraised in many creative ways, selling canna lilies from her garden and organizing garage sales and church sales of her needlework. Her husband Jim contributed woodwork projects, and was also active in volunteer work. Together they were involved in collecting eyeglasses and they hosted Operation Eyesight’s visitors in their home, including the Gullisons.
After retiring from a 30-year career as a dance instructor, Pat became a dedicated ambassador for Operation Eyesight, and served as an honorary board member. She liked that Operation Eyesight was a Canadian charity, and that it was making such a difference in the lives of so many children and their families. When she moved into a care home, she made sure she would receive Sightlines, and told her caregivers and fellows all about Operation Eyesight. When she passed away, she asked that donations be made to Operation Eyesight in her memory.
“Pat always had a singular strength of conviction,” says Maureen. “She was always a person who wanted to make a difference.” Maureen says Pat was a good public speaker, and remembers her doing cross stitching for her grandchildren that read “Think of others first.” Maureen and her husband Ron have been inspired by Pat, knowing that her dedication indicated that Operation Eyesight is really something special. Maureen now donates to Operation Eyesight.
We are so glad to have amazing donors like Pat and Maureen, and we’re so thankful for their support. We’re thrilled when they pass down their values to their children. Together, you are saving sight and preventing blindness. We hope you know that your donations are helping so many people. Thank you, Pat and Maureen!