May 12, 2021

Sask. woman leaves a lasting legacy for kids in hospital

Bernice Harrison lived a selfless life dedicated to compassion, volunteerism and philanthropy. Her remarkable legacy is now continuing to help the youngest patients of our province.

Bernice with her dog Mucky
Bernice with her dog Mucky

Bernice had a special place in her heart for children. She generously included Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation into her estate plan, to ensure the best care possible for Saskatchewan kids and families. Bernice was also dedicated to many important social justice and community causes in the areas of child development, physical and mental health, environment and animal welfare.

Together, Bernice and her husband Mervin raised three children and she took pride and delight in being a stay-at-home parent.

Bernice volunteered many hours working with children, including teaching Sunday school and providing activities for children in Saskatoon hospitals and at the old Sanitorium for children with tuberculosis. She often created the play materials and activities herself and purchased toys such as puzzles.

Later in life, her love of children drew her to further her education. She crafted a career in early childhood education, working in daycares and preschools with a focus on children with complex needs. Bernice was a strong advocate for inclusion and resources to help meet each child’s individual needs.

Following her passing in 2020, Bernice’s incredible legacy inspired others during Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Radiothon later that same year. Bernice’s gift meant $100,000 of provincial donations were matched during the event to support Saskatchewan kids in hospital.

Bernice’s bequest to Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation is also helping children find joy through play at the Child Life Zone at Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital. Her generosity is helping provide medical play opportunities for kids to help reduce anxiety and escape the stress associated with hospital stays, tests and procedures.

Child Life Zone at Jim Pattison Children's Hospital
Child Life Zone

“Bernice cherished the work she did with children throughout her life. It is people such as Bernice and Mervin that embody the word ‘hope,’ as their legacy gift to our foundation continues to help Saskatchewan kids and their families, today and in the future. We are incredibly grateful for this support,” said Brynn Boback-Lane, President and CEO of Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation.

A planned gift allows you to leave a larger donation to Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation than may be possible during your lifetime. By planning today, you can have an incredible impact on the future health of Saskatchewan children. To learn more, please contact Laura at 306.931.4887 or email

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