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Jeff Mcgrath

2020 Emergency Services Honouree

Jeff McGrath began his career in the Emergency Services as a firefighter in 2000, which he did for three years before switching to paramedicine. He deeply values the up-close relationships with those he serves, especially when he’s able to positively impact a patient’s condition. His kindness and compassion for the suffering of others is evident throughout his life’s work and charitable efforts.

Jeff’s philosophy has always been to do what he can, and he encourages others to do the same. With enough caring individuals supporting a worthy cause, each donation doesn’t have to be huge. It all adds up. And money isn’t the only thing one can contribute. If there is anything in life that has a greater value than money, it’s time. At the end of our days, he emphasizes that we won’t be wishing we had more impressive financial statements, we’ll likely be wishing we had more time. And in his mind, giving time to others, whether loved ones or strangers, matters not if they are someone in need.

Since 2007, the popular Madison Classic, an annual hockey-fundraiser tournament Jeff founded, has raised $450,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada, Canadian Breast Cancer Society, Sick Kids Hospital, Royal Canadian Legion, and eighteen families whose children are or were fighting for their lives against different cancers. The Madison Classic allows Jeff, with the help of many other kind souls, to generate and contribute incredible amounts of money to research for disease causes, prevention, and treatments.

Jeff’s wonderful wife and three kids are his biggest supporters and he acknowledges that the Madison Classic wouldn’t be what it is today without them.

Jeff recalls a truly memorable experience meeting one of the tournament’s 2020 honourees, Alex “Ali” McKeown, who has a form of leukemia and has relapsed after a bone marrow transplant. Sadly, this little boy is now deemed terminal. Jeff offered Ali’s family some money in hopes to alleviate the financial stress surrounding this time. What Jeff didn’t know initially was that the McKeown’s had to tell their extended family they were unable to attend the family’s reunion/fundraiser because their flight was so expensive. The gravity of the situation became even harder knowing that it’d likely be the last time they would see Ali. The McKeown’s ended up using the funds from Jeff to fly their entire family to the reunion/fundraiser so they all could be together and make lasting memories.

Although Jeff continues to see firsthand the blessings of this work, he says the texts and emails from Ali’s loved ones expressing their sincere gratitude made Jeff feel something deep inside that he’s never felt before.

The ripple effect of one’s good deeds is often immeasurable.


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