Gina Ricci

Gina Ricci

Women of Inspiration

Gina Ricci employed her retirement years in helping to improve the quality of life for seniors within Ottawa’s Italian-Canadian Community.  In particular, her passion for Villa Marconi Long-term Care Center stimulated a personal mission of supporting the organization through fundraising, donations, and service.

Ms. Ricci was a founding member and strong advocate for Villa Marconi. Her commitment began in Villa Marconi’s early beginnings when she started volunteering for the centre by helping to regularly clean its chapel for religious services. In addition, she participated in fundraising efforts to help raise funds for the building of the long-term care centre. It was not unusual to see her going door-to-door selling raffle tickets, often outselling other volunteers.

Gina Ricci’s commitment extended to other areas of service to Villa Marconi. She donated hand-crafted items for its annual bazaars and made home-made baked goods for all of its bake sales. As a retired seamstress, she voluntarily sewed tablecloths, aprons, curtains, and whatever else was needed for Villa’s Marconi Center.

She was also actively involved in Villa’s L’Eta d’Oro group that provides programs and activities for nearly 300 community seniors. She, along with her husband, began and organized an exercise program. For a number of years, she coordinated a group of 30 to 40 seniors in doing exercises once a week at the Marconi Centre with instruction coming from a VHS tape on a TV that she and her husband had donated to Villa Marconi in honour of their 50th Anniversary.

Her outstanding commitment, however, was exhibited during Villa Marconi’s Ital-Fest. In 2008, the organizing committee of this 2-day event planned a world record attempt for the tallest marionette.  For over a week, Gina Ricci sewed the marionette’s outfit – not only once but three times – to ensure that the seams would not come apart in windy conditions. During this period, she would celebrate her 82nd Birthday which she postponed until she completed the outfit.  Her efforts were memorialized in the successful achievement of a world record that has been documented in the book, Guinness World Records 2011.

For Ms. Ricci, Villa Marconi Long-Term Care Centre, along with its Marconi Center and L’Eta d’Oro, became an extension of her family and she committed time, products, and services to help the organization. She was also a noteworthy donor contributing to ensure its success.