Pender Island cancer survivor donates $1.4-million home to research

Robert and Diane Conconi have put their home where their heart is, donating a waterfront Pender Island retreat to the B.C. Cancer Foundation.

The residence, known as Madrona Grove, will be sold at an on-site auction on Aug. 22 by the Garage Sale Luxury Auction House.

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The foundation hasn’t had a contribution quite like this before, said vice-president and chief financial officer Lou Del Gobbo.

“It’s a pretty unique opportunity for us,” he said. “This is the first time anyone’s donated a property of this nature in this way.”

Del Gobbo hopes “the lure of an auction” on the Pender property will bring out a number of qualified bidders. A “buy-it-now” price of $1.425 million had been in place for a time in case an immediate buyer surfaced.

“Hopefully, we can garner that or more,” Del Gobbo said. All proceeds will go to the foundation.

Set on a 4.38-acre lot, the home features 2,662 square feet of living space, including three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, an open-concept design, a wrap-around 1,295-square-foot sundeck and a garage.

Robert Conconi has thrived in a number of business ventures and, along with his wife, has established a legacy of philanthropy through the years. Their generosity toward the foundation stems from the successful treatment he received for throat cancer — the same type of cancer that his father had died from 30 years earlier.

Conconi, a member of the foundation board, realized how fortunate he was to have the cancer treatment of today available to him.

“Knowing the great work of the B.C. Cancer Foundation, he’s decided to help us through this donation,” Del Gobbo said.

The Conconis were not available for an interview.

Last year, the couple helped raise more than $3 million for the foundation by taking part in a campaign where they matched donations from the public.

Plenty of preparation has been going on in advance of the sale, said the auction company’s Alex Lambert.

“I’m glad we’re able to step up and help get the job done,” he said.

Lambert said Madrona Grove has a special setting.

“It’s right on a bluff just above the ocean. It’s a really nice spot.”


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