Born in Chungking, China, Margaret Ho and her husband, Ralph, moved to the United States 48 years ago, settling first in San Francisco, then finally settling in Hillsborough, where they have resided for more than 30 years. Margaret attended the College of Notre Dame in Belmont and San Francisco State University, where she majored in French.
The Ho's are the parents of four adult children, all of whom live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Margaret began her career in fundraising through her volunteer work at her children's elementary and high schools. Her work for these schools include her co-founding Rags to Riches, a second hand store in San Mateo whose proceeds benefitted her daughters’ high school.
Eventually, an interest in healthcare for the community led her to the Foundation, where she participated as both a committee member and major donor for the Mack E. Mickelson Arthritis and Rehabilitation Center. Mrs. Ho has been a Board of Trustee of Mills-Peninsula Hospital Foundation since 1996. She currently serves as the Chair of the Development and Stewardship Committee.
During her first tenure as a board member of MPHF, Margaret Ho was asked to co-chair the Cancer Center campaign with Dr. R. Cameron Emmott. As co-chair of the campaign to raise $5 million for the new Dorothy E. Schneider Cancer Center, Margaret brought a special combination of commitment and enthusiasm to the task of raising funds and generating community interest for the Cancer Center. For Margaret, the campaign represented a cause dear to her heart, the belief that cancer touches everyone's life. Her goal was to help create a Cancer Center that would offer the community first-class cancer care in a single facility, close to home so that patients wouldn't have far to travel for treatment. The new Center's focus on healing both the body and mind particularly appealed to Margaret, who championed design plans that emphasized bringing nature into patient areas through high ceilings, ample windows providing plentiful light and multiple garden areas.
The success of the Cancer Center campaign is owed in great measure to Margaret's tireless efforts. Margaret hosted numerous fundraising events at her home - ranging from a summer tennis tournament to a benefit auction - and brought in many large contributions from the community. Recognizing that people needed to learn about Mills- Peninsula and the cancer program before supporting the Center, she attended numerous cultivation events where donors and potential donors met with doctors and administrators to talk about healthcare and the Cancer Center. Margaret's exemplary commitment to Mills-Peninsula and to the betterment of healthcare for the people of San Mateo County earned her unanimous selection as recipient of the nineteenth annual de Guigné Award in 1998.