The Buchman family’s connection to Baycrest began in the early 1970s when Jack Buchman joined Baycrest’s Board of Directors. “Baycrest” was a household name as he and his wife of 61 years, Roma, raised their three children, Danny, Pauline and Annette.
In the spring of 1996, Roma’s mother Eleanora had a stroke, which brought her to Baycrest for care and to re-learn how to walk. Three months later, she proudly walked out of Baycrest on her own two feet and lived to the age of 93. Upon her passing, Eleanora left an endowment to Baycrest to help the hospital continue its care and rehabilitation programs.
In 2011, Jack and Roma’s youngest daughter, Annette Buchman-Mincer, decided to volunteer at Baycrest. While raising four children and running a full time business, Annette completed three months of training and began volunteering as a feeding assistant, helping clients who are unable to feed themselves. Annette has said that her volunteer experience has been irreplaceable, especially when using the international language of a simple smile.
Patients are energized by pet therapy visits.
In 2014, Annette’s husband Mark Mincer enrolled his dog Ace, a husky/wolf, in a rigorous training program at Therapeutic Paws of Canada in order to participate in Baycrest’s pet therapy program. Once certified, Mark and Ace began doing weekly volunteer visits at the hospital. Mark says that it is uncanny to watch some patients transform from being lethargic to energized by interacting with Ace.
On September 29, 2016, the Buchman family suffered a devastating blow as Jack Buchman passed away suddenly while playing tennis. Through their grief, the family established a fund at Baycrest to honour Jack’s memory, knowing that it would have been his first choice. To date, thousands of dollars have been donated to Baycrest by his friends and family. Today, a flower box dedicated to Jack and Roma Buchman now rests on the main floor at Baycrest.