Inspiring Philanthropists in London and Region 2021-2022


For Patrick O’Neill and The O’Neill Team of CIBC Wood Gundy, giving back is personal. Each year, The O’Neill Team – Patrick O’Neill, Jane Amann, Kelly Lyon and Kristina Chow - are proud to support the community where they live and work by contributing to local organizations that deliver critical programs to youth and families in need, including Children’s Health Foundation.

The O’Neill Team is grateful for the vital work of all the health care professionals in London and Southwestern Ontario. In Patrick’s words, they recognize “the demands on the healthcare system and staff for services and supports have been crushing, complex and constantly changing.”

They also understand the unique challenges that children and families face on the road to mental health help and recovery. COVID-19 has caused even more stress and anxiety for our young people, and children and youth facing long wait times for support, which causes them to end up in crisis.

To ensure access to mental health resources, which result in better diagnosis, treatments and delivery of mental health care for children and youth during and after the pandemic, The O’Neill Team is generously supporting both the First Episode Mood and Anxiety Program (FEMAP) and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Program at Children’s Hospital.

The O'Neill Team believe philanthropy can change our community and are sharing their story to inspire others to support Children’s Health Foundation. “If you give money and never tell anybody then nobody is inspired to do anything,” says Patrick. “But community leaders can help fund critical programs and meet the needs of our community.”

The O’Neill Team is one of many caring and compassionate investment advisors at CIBC Wood Gundy supporting Children’s Health Foundation and our healthcare partners, Children’s Hospital, TVCC and Children’s Health Research Institute. CIBC Wood Gundy staff and clients also show they care for kids in a special way on Miracle Day, when they donate the day’s trading fees.

Children’s Health Foundation is pleased to recognize The O’Neill Team – CIBC Wood Gundy as inspiring philanthropists. Their generous support ensures better childhoods for children and youth facing serious health issues and hope, relief and support for those who love them.  We thank you for standing by our kids.


Children’s Health Foundation, Youth Philanthropy Group (YPG) is a passionate and dedicated team of 15 youth, aged 14-24 who have a desire to learn more about philanthropy. Over an eight-month period, the members of this committee plan and execute a year-end fundraising event for Children’s Health Foundation.

In their inaugural year, YPG successfully planned and hosted the virtual movie event, Drive-In for Thrive-In Kids. An event that raised money for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Program at Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre. This is an incredibly important program at our hospital as we see a 10% rise annually in our community for the demand for mental health services for our youth.

We could not be prouder of the innovation and creativity that these young leaders demonstrated. Due to COVID, their end-of-the-year event had to pivot on several occasions to follow the public health safety measures. The team remained optimistic and was committed to hosting a successful end-of-the-year event, and that is exactly what they accomplished!

Over and above their end-of-the-year fundraiser, YPG members hosted their own Independent Fundraising Events to raise money for Children’s Health Foundation. Our YPG members hosted chess tournaments, networking events, marathons, sushi fundraisers, and made masks, all to help raise awareness and funds for kids’ health.

Ultimately, despite all the difficulties of COVID, this inspiring team of young leaders raised a remarkable $8,500 for Children’s Health Foundation! This not only hit their target of $5,000 but also surpassed it by $3,500! A big congratulations go out to this team; you all have set the bar extraordinarily high for your successors!

The Optimist Club of Oakridge Acres have been a pillar of support for families needing to travel far from home for their child’s medical care.

Since 2013 the Optimist Club of Oakridge Acres Golf Tournament has raised funds to support a room adoption inside RMH London. Even in a 2020 virtual world, donations were collected online to ensure that the Optimist Club of Oakridge Acres could continue to support the House. Thanks to their hard work and dedication, 316 families have called Room #210 “home-away-from-home” over the last eight years. This room continues to be a space for families to receive a good night’s sleep, a hot shower to refresh, and feel comforted and supported. 

They say the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, and that is certainly the case when the Optimists are in the kitchen. Since 2015, monthly visits allow families to share a meal together, share smiles, laughs and make memories around the table. With close to 3,000 meals prepared it’s safe to say the Optimists have made quite the impact in the RMH dining room. Even during Covid-19 the Optimist Club of Oakridge Acres ensured RMHC Families continued to have meals together with additional monetary support to stock the RMH London pantry, fridges, and freezers. 

The Optimist Club of Oakridge Acres are known across the community for supporting youth recreation, leadership, and health programs, and we are so extremely proud to honour their continuous contributions and efforts to make our community a better one.