Bill Verkerke - Volunteer Extraordinaire

February 18, 2015

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Southampton Care Centre

Bill Verkerke with son Rob and daughter-in-Law Donna Beechey

(L-R standing) Shirley Hearn (RPN), Trish Campbell (Manager), 'Sam' Hoffard (Heart & Stroke) & Peggy Brown (Housekeeping with Bill Verkerke

He's a volunteer extraordinaire and his 'joie de vivre' (joy of life) is still there.

For 16 years, Bill Verkerke of Southampton, has raised funds for the Heart & Stroke Foundation and, now in his 17th year, as a resident at the Southampton Care Centre  in Southampton, owned and operated by Jarlette Health Services, his volunteerism continues.

"I retired and wanted something to do," says Verkerke, "and so I volunteered for the Heart and Stroke fundraiser held every February."  And so, every February for 16 years, he would be seen braving the cold and snow canvassing for a cause close to his heart.

He would start out in the morning, canvass until lunch time and then pick it up again after a quick bite of lunch.

"I have met some wonderful people over the years," he says. "Many have become good friends."

Verkerke has become the largest fundraiser for the Grey and Bruce Heart and Stroke door-to-door campaign and is, in fact, one of the highest fundraisers ever in the province.

In addition to his recognition by Heart and Stroke, Verkerke has also been honoured by Rotary International with the Paul Harris Fellowship award.

In 2012, he raised $5,555.55 and then, in 2013, he raised $6,666.66 ... he was hoping to raise $7,777.77 this year.  If the numbers seem strange, it's because Verkerke contributes personally to bring the number up.  For instance, in 2013, he raised $6,565.65 .. not a good number when you like things 'rounded off', so he brought it up to all sixes ... $6,666.66.

Verkerke has raised more than $30,000 in the past five years alone.

Click the orange arrow to read the second column

Today, Verkerke is a resident of the Southampton Care Centre, following  a stroke but that doesn't mean he has given up on his Heart & Stroke fundraising.

He is accepting donations even at the Southampton Care Centre on Grey Street in Southampton.

Bill Verkerke ... collects donations

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Monday, February 23, 2015