Neuro supporters win prestigious volunteer award

Marie-Claude Lacroix and Ivan Boulva have helped raise millions for brain cancer research

Congratulations to Marie-Claude Lacroix and Ivan Boulva, who have been selected for the 2017 Award for Outstanding Volunteer by the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Quebec Chapter.

Marie-Claude Lacroix and Ivan Boulva have accomplished great things – both individually and as a family.

Married for 38 years, Marie-Claude and Ivan have always been active members of their community, each putting their expertise and time to the service of their parish and local private schools, where both their sons received their education. Marie-Claude has also supported several humanitarian missions to the African continent.

Both have built successful careers and have together raised a family. But they never expected that their true commitment would be building a brighter future for patients and families struggling with one of nature’s cruelest diseases – brain cancer. 

In 2010, tragedy struck. Ivan and Marie-Claude’s son Francis, a medical resident in pediatrics, passed away suddenly at the age of 27 after a short but valiant battle with brain cancer. Since that fateful day, Ivan and Marie-Claude have been tireless champions of the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro), where their son was treated. Together, they created the Francis Boulva Memorial Fund, with the goal of finding a cure for this terrible disease. 

They are also one of the driving forces behind The Neuro’s annual fundraising gala, A Brilliant Night, which has raised nearly $3 million in vital funding for brain tumour research since 2015. The Lacroix/Boulva family are not only responsible for a significant portion of the sponsorships and donations received for the event, but have also sold countless ticket sales and solicited many silent auction items thanks to their incredible dedication to the cause. This event brings together more than 50 volunteers each year around the cause of brain cancer research. In 2015, they were recognized with The Neuro’s inaugural Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award.

In addition to their involvement with The Neuro, they created the Prix de reconnaissance Francis-Boulva at Expo-Sciences to recognize the outstanding work of young scientists, and established an endowment fund at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, where Francis was doing his residency, to support the education of pediatric residents. 

AFP-Quebec’s Award for Outstanding Volunteer honours an individual or a family who has demonstrated outstanding skills in coordinating and motivating groups of donors and volunteers for fundraising projects for the benefit of charitable institutions. Congratulations again to Marie-Claude and Ivan for this wonderful recognition.



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The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.



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