We were saddened to learn that Virginia Green passed way last Thursday, December 2nd from ovarian cancer at the age of 66. She had been a wonderful ally and friend to us here at Vancouver Foundation. Virginia was involved in both the Vital Signs project and the Vancouver Foundation joint initiative Streetohome, dedicated to tackle the problem of homelessness in Vancouver.

As a member of Vital Sign’s Leadership Advisory Group, she inspired us with her vigorous presence, and always sought to bring the project to its full potential. Yet even while struggling with her health near the completion of the project, Virginia always expressed her commitment and excitement about the report. We consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to have had her input.

Virginia’s accomplishments have been incredible. In addition to being the President and CEO of Business Council of British Columbia, she served on many boards, including the UBC Board of Governors, the Salvation Army Advisory Board, and VGH Hospital Foundation Board.  Her efforts as Chair of the BC/Yukon Division of the Breast Cancer Foundation boosted awareness and raised enormous funds for breast cancer research.

Without a doubt, British Columbia will mourn her loss because Virginia has always been a champion for the people of this province. From promoting our region to the world in Expo 86, to serving as Deputy Minister, to running the Olympic torch for North Vancouver in 2010, Virginia was always devoted to making her community a better place.  In an interview from 2008, Virginia stated,I’m a British Columbian by birth – in fact, we go back almost four full generations on both sides of my parents – and I’ve just always been very passionate about this province… My objective was always the same, and that was to try and improve outcomes for people.”

Virginia’s passion for community grew even larger during her battle with ovarian cancer. In September of this year, she raised $300,000 at a sold-out lunch event for Ovarian Cancer Canada. It is characteristic that even in the midst of personal illness, Virginia extended herself toward the larger community. It is this giving spirit and ceaseless energy that we will remember. We will miss her greatly.

A memorial service was held today, Friday, December 10 at 2pm at Christ Church Cathedral on 690 Burrard Street. Please donate to Ovarian Cancer Canada (www.ovariancanada.org) in lieu of flowers.

http://www.bcbusinessonline.ca/bcb/people/2008/02/01/virginia-greene
http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Virginia+Greene+motto+home+guided+life+career/3928237/story.html
http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2009-2013/2010PREM0210-001533.htm
http://www.bcbc.com/Documents/Obituary_VG.pdf
http://www.theprovince.com/health/Ovarian+cancer+takes+Virginia+Greene/3920448/story.html

*Written by Onjana Yawnghwe, Assistant, Vital Signs Team