The 2023 Kevin Garvey Award – A Tribute to Jamie Scotland

Kevin Garvey was nicknamed “heart,” given after a family vacation because of his kindhearted nature. His mother Claudia said, “in the eighteen months that Kevin lived with his illness, that finally conquered even his stout heart, he served constantly as a model and an example for all of us.” Reflecting on the past 50 years, much has changed on campus, but the heart of our mission has always remained. As brother Hugh said, “Kevin was only with us here on Earth for 13 short years, but he has left a good and kind and everlasting footprint on our world. May Kevin Guest House continue to serve those, like Kevin, at their most needed time, with a place of comfort, love, and life. As sister Mary said, Kevin Guest House “shines through all of you who open his doors to all those in need”.   

As the inspiration for the Kevin Guest House, he was known for his open heart and loving spirit. In that tradition, the Kevin Garvey Award is given to a unique individual or organization that opens their heart to our home, showing their support and devotion to our guests and to the mission of Kevin Guest House. Kevin’s siblings and family are asked to consider some of the most influential supporters of the house in recent history to honor with such an award. This year, we’re honored to celebrate the first inductee into a new 10 year club, Jamie Scotland, former board president who alongside his wife Gail provided unwavering volunteer support over the last decade.  

When Jamie Scotland was introduced to Kevin Guest House by former board member, Geanne Zanatta, he was working as a senior financial planner and vice president for Key Private Bank. He told us he was hooked on day one, when he could see the direct impact even one person’s efforts could have on our guests.

We are so fortunate that Jamie’s love and commitment to KGH ultimately led him to the role of board president. With his financial planning prowess, and 20 years of service as a LT Col USAF Ret Career Missile Launch Officer for the United States Air Force, Jamie brought discipline to our budgets and our meetings. Now firmly rooted, that discipline helps us plan our strategic annual mission, making it easier for our staff and our committee to achieve mission goals together.

Jamie oversaw some of the brightest financial years in KGH history helping us grow from less than $400,000 in 2013 to over $1,000,000 in operating revenue planned for 2023 alongside two multi-million capital campaigns launched during his tenure. He guided the creation of our investment and gift policy plans, including the move of our endowment to the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo. That move helped set KGH up for long-term sustainability to be able to weather the next unexpected financial crisis. More recently, Jamie led our organization through one of the most difficult financial times of the COVID-19 pandemic. He worked tirelessly throughout those early pandemic years, searching for ways to keep our doors open including the payment protection plan keeping our staff working and other government & foundation support only available to organizations consider part of the front-line workers. Without his tireless detail over our budgets, we may not have remained an essential service & kept our doors open to the most immune compromised patients who needed us most through the pandemic.  

Jamie believed in our ability to take on another capital expansion, in the height of the pandemic & it’s critical necessity to undertake now. As this was one that would renovate the KGH original homes to the same standard as the Salvatore House that was the best environment for the weakest patients to be close to their life saving care. He encouraged the board to take that step now, so that we could continue to serve as many guests as possible for the next 50 years.

In retirement, his strong ties to KeyBank and the First Niagara Foundation encouraged our first ever gift of over $175,000 to launch the KGH50 campaign. Without that initial commitment, our confidence in this campaign could not be realized. Considered one of our largest long-term contributors, Jamie’s relationships has kept the KeyBank Foundation as an important partner as annual donors and bringing groups of volunteers to the house. Gail’s mother, Betty Granger was also one of our first donors to our 2015 expansion campaign by lovingly naming one of our transplant recovery apartments in memory of Gail’s sister, Faye Granger who passed away in 2010, and even donated Faye’s dining room table that served as the meeting place each night for guest gatherings that served as one of the most memorable parts for both families & volunteers. Lastly, the Scotland’s were one of the first to become members of the Cyril & Claudia Garvey Society members by leaving Kevin Guest House in their will.

Alongside these years-long efforts, Jamie and his lovely wife Gail volunteered at the house in countless ways: delivering flowers and homemade pies to donors, prepping for events, cleaning at the house, entering data during busy weeks, and attending nearly every event with a crew of new KGH friends. While we know he has moved on from the board to spend more time with family, Jamie and Gail will always have a special place in our hearts and homes.

The 10 Year Club

Jamie’s genuine nature, his ability to motivate a group and his sincere belief in our mission encouraged fellow board members to create a “10 Year Club” in his honor. This special designation will be featured on a new donor wall planned for house installation during our renovations.

2023 Kevin Garvey Award Winner

Jamie was a natural choice for the 2023 Kevin Garvey Award, which is being presented to him by Kevin Garvey’s sister, Margaret Garvey Condon. This award is our highest honor, bestowed annually to one person who has gone above and beyond by opening their hearts to our guests, and reflecting the nickname of our namesake Kevin “Heart” Garvey. We hope you will join Kevin’s siblings in honoring Jamie Scotland throughout this year as one of our kindest, patient, detailed & fiscally minded volunteers our Kevin Guest House family has ever had the pleasure to call a lifelong friend.

Past board member & Kevin’s brother, Tom Garvey said, It is my pleasure to congratulate my dear friend and former KGH board chair Jamie Scotland as the recipient of the Kevin Garvey Award at todays Affaire of the Heart.”

Jamie and I joined the KGH board on the same day years ago … and … along with his beautiful wife Gail, has dedicated over a decade of service on behalf of so many in need of a home away from home in Buffalo.

I’ve known Jamie to be a gentle man … in fact, I know him to be the very definition of a gentleman.  Always smiling, always helpful, quick to offer an idea or insightful leadership, never boastful and always considerate of the other fellow first.

Kevin Guest House has also been blessed by the tremendous generosity of the Scotland family.  Gail and Jamie have contributed both their time and treasure along with countless hours in meetings developing opportunities for benefactors to share their success with others in need.

Thank you, Jamie, … and … thank you Gail.  Our friendship is a gift I will forever treasure.”

Fellow board members & friends Judy & Henry Gorino said…

“There isn’t anything bad anyone could say about Jamie except maybe that he doesn’t float in water. And even this fact makes him endearing!

Sitting on the board with Jamie was not only a pleasure. He taught me a lot. His ability to listen and level of patience are skills I still try to emulate today. WWJSD….what would Jamie Scotland do?

Kevin Guest House is better for Jamie’s leadership. We feel he was the perfect leader to be in place during covid. His and Gail’s commitment to the house as well as problem solving skills were instrumental.

Thank you Jamie and Gail for all that you have done. We are sorry we couldn’t be there to toast you in person. “

Henry and Judy Gorino

Jamie’s wife Gail shared these beautiful sentiments of what KGH has meant to them…

“I remember the day Jamie came home from work and told me all about his visit to Kevin Guest House. He was struck by the house itself, its history, and by its mission. It was Kevin’s story, in particular, that touched both of us. From that very first experience, he wanted to be a part of that. He understood the need; realized the impact it made; and wanted to help continue its mission. To him, and ultimately the two of us, KGH was another word for “love.”

I am extremely proud of Jamie and his ten years of dedicated service on the KGH board. I know his mother, father, and brothers would be proud as well. While he has never been one to seek awards and recognition, it makes me happy when others see and appreciate all that his work has done, and therefore, all that one simple, four-letter word, L-O-V-E can do.” Gail Scotland

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