July 15, 2013
The late Gerry Ginsberg, former general manager of Canada Blooms, had a great passion for his family.

There are many touching stories about Gerry’s love for his wife, Barb, their daughters Rachel and Julie, and her husband Charlie Clodfelter, and grandchildren Maya and Aleyda.

The story that resonates with many friends involves Maya, who is a little girl with Down syndrome. When she was born, the whole family turned for support to the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City, where Maya’s family lives. A suggestion from the Guild that her heart be checked,  led to open heart surgery to repair holes. The family shudders to think what would have happened without the guidance of the Guild.

Gerry and Barb were living in Canada, but kept in close contact. Picture ‘Gampy’ Ginsberg turning to Skype to send his love directly to Maya, face-to-face, heart-to-heart. He would comment on how she just “made my day.”

Charlie, Maya’s father, started a Certified Naturally Grown heirloom produce farm, because he and Julie felt that it would help with Maya’s motor skills and would be a great way to teach her about food, nature and gardening. They named their farm Healing Hearts Farm in honour of Maya. A portion of their profits is donated to the Down Syndrome Guild, a non-profit organization that is building a hydroponic greenhouse to employ disabled young adults.

And so we complete the circle. We start with Gerry — love for his family —help for his granddaughter — organic gardening — donations to a non-profit organization — and back to Gerry.

In memory of Gerry Ginsberg, family man, we are honouring him by giving individually and directly to the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City. If you would like to join us, please click on www.horttrades.com/kcdsg and fill out the secure online donation form.

— Joyce McKeough is a member of the Canada Blooms board of directors, representing the Garden Club of Toronto .