“If you are lucky enough to have just one good idea and work really hard on it, it makes life all worthwhile.”
– Cyril Garvey
The Association of Fundraising Professionals, Western New York Chapter selected The Garvey Family as the Outstanding Philanthropist honorees at the 2017 National Philanthropy Day. Celebrated on November 15 at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens, the Garveys were recognized for their outstanding commitment to the healthcare hospitality movement through opening America’s first independent healthcare hospitality house. To this day, the Garvey family continues to be deeply involved in the strategic growth and operations of Kevin Guest House. The memory of their dear brother Kevin guides both their generosity and willingness to encourage the organization to new heights.
The Garvey Family, Outstanding Philanthropists
National Philanthropy Day, Western New York
In 1970 the Garvey family traveled from Sharon, PA to Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo for their 13-year-old son Kevin as he battled leukemia. While at Roswell, Kevin’s parents Cyril and Claudia were dismayed at the number of families and caregivers without a hotel room to sleep in at night, instead sleeping in their cards or the hospital waiting rooms. Sadly, Kevin succumbed to his illness and passed away just nine days before his parents finalized the purchase of the home at 782 Ellicott Street.
Motivated by the families they met going through similar heartache, the Garvey family drove through their grief to open Kevin Guest House, America’s first healthcare hospitality house. With ongoing charitable support from the Garvey’s, no guest would be required to pay for their stay, although a suggested donation is encouraged, a tenant that continues today. Since opening in 1972 more than 600 similar homes have opened across the country, and provided the direct inspiration for the first Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia, PA.
Today Kevin Guest House welcomes patients and families from any area hospital, including Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Kaleida Health, Erie County Medical Center, Catholic Health, and the Veteran’s Administration Hospital.
To this day the Garvey family continues to be deeply involved with the strategic growth and operations of Kevin Guest House. The memory of their dear brother Kevin guides both their generosity and willingness to encourage the organization to new heights. The Garvey family has raised nearly $800,000 of the $3 million goal for the first ever Expansion Campaign for Kevin Guest House. They have committed to raising $1 million by the completion of the campaign making the Garvey Family and their friends the largest contributor to the Expansion Campaign. We are honored to permanently name the original Kevin Guest House at 782 Ellicott Street for the Garvey Family and Friends to recognize their outstanding contributions.
Western New York’s ability to serve the growing number of “medical tourists” traveling to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus would not be possible without the vision of Cyril and Claudia Garvey, and the continuous generosity of Kevin’s siblings.
Description of the Award
This award is presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Western New York Chapter, to an individual or family with a proven record of exceptional generosity who, through direct financial support, has demonstrated outstanding civic and charitable responsibility, and whose generosity encourages others to take philanthropic leadership roles in our community. An ideal candidate will have had an impact on more than one organization/nonprofit.