News & stories, THE VITO’S STORY – 30 Years of Giving Back

November 2021

For George (“Big George”) Georgoudis, there is no larger way to impact his community than by giving to the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation.

“We think that supporting the hospital is where we can have the biggest impact on the community across the board,” says Mr. Georgoudis, whose family owns Vito’s restaurants.

The Georgoudis clan at Vito’s. From front to back: Mike, George N. (“Little George”), George P. (“Medium George”) and George D. (“Big George”).
The Georgoudis clan at Vito’s. From front to back: Mike, George N. (“Little George”), George P. (“Medium George”) and George D. (“Big George”).

“At some point, we’re all touched by the health care system. It is something we all need, that affects us or our families – a child, parent, uncle or grandparent.”

-George "Big George" D. Georgoudis

Vito’s and the Georgoudis family have been longstanding supporters of the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation – the year 2022 will mark 30 years of giving to the Foundation. From the very first charitable golf tournament in 1992, they have been ardent champions of the cause. From their annual spaghetti nights at their restaurants to supporting our Radiothon, Cardiac Walk, MindCare and campaigns like Clinic 1, they have raised more than $80,000 for the Foundation.

They are a beacon in the community, a shining example of what partnerships between organizations and companies can achieve in working together for the community. The Foundation is fortunate to have a wide array of these partnerships. Across the Saint John region, businesses have joined with us to raise funds to advance health care.

Like Vito’s, these organizations work with the Foundation to channel their giving. And it allows their employees to get involved as well, through workplace events that not only benefit the community but boost camaraderie around the office. For Vito’s, giving back is part of the culture – a sense that part of the company’s duty is to the community.

In talking about how important it has been for Vito’s to support the Foundation and its work, Mr. Georgoudis remembers how important hospital care was to his family decades ago.

George D. Georgoudis
George D. Georgoudis

He shares the story of how in 1973, the family was involved in a horrific car crash in Moncton that claimed the lives of his mother, brother, and sister. Only he and his father survived. While he was able to walk out of the hospital the next day, his father remained in hospital for 16 years, until he passed away.

To this day, the crucial role the hospital played in their lives is not lost on him. Neither is the reality that hospitals benefit tremendously from the support of donors. “Hospitals have a lot of needs. The government can only fund so much – taxpayers can only cover so much,” he says. “We feel this is part of our civic duty.”

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