Arne and Beverley Clausen's story
Creating a bequest, like Arne’s, is one of the easiest ways to support your favourite charity — Cynthia Collantes, Director, Gift Planning, St. Michael's Foundation

Arne Clausen believed in work. That's a philosophy that motivated him to leave his native Denmark as a young man to look for new opportunities in Canada. A carpenter by trade he also became a contractor. Working with one company he met Beverley, who he married and whose two children he would help to raise. Together they created Clausen Drywall, still operating today under the management of Beverley's son. Beverley had the accounting background so she worked the front end of the business and he worked the back. He would go on to create the Envirowall Partition System Limited, creating modular walls for office buildings, another business still run by the family.

"Success never changed them," says Barbara Fahey, Beverley's sister. "I don't think they realized what they had." Later in life they bought a house in Florida where they would take vacations, and there would be some travel, but looking after their businesses was their primary concern. According to Barbara, Arne and Beverley shared the same industrious attitude, believing that "nothing was free – you had to work for what you had."

About 25 years ago, Arne had a heart attack and was referred to St. Michael's for bypass surgery. He was so pleased by his treatment and the outcome that he made regular gifts to the hospital’s heart program for a number of years. When he died, his will revealed a substantial bequest of more than $2 million to St. Michael's, along with gifts to two other hospitals. Sandra Smith, Philanthropy Officer, Gift Planning, says that creating a bequest, like Arne's, is one of the easiest ways to support your favourite charity.

In the case of Arne and Beverley Clausen, a lifetime of industry coupled with a sense of gratitude means a wonderful difference in the lives of patients at St. Michael's.

For more information about leaving a legacy to St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation, please contact Sandra Smith, Philanthropy Officer, Gift Planning, 416-864-6060 ext. 2044 or SmithSan@smh.ca