Feb. 23, 2010

Heartstrings and Roses raises funds for surgical package
Reporter: Kelly Clemmer Tuesday, February 23, 2010 At 9:00AM News

Tom Jones has Wainwright and District Community Health Board Foundation board member Deanna Waddell to help him out during the Heartstrings and Roses fundraising event, Feb. 13.
The Wainwright and District Community Health Board Foundation held its annual Valentine’s fundraiser, Feb. 13, Heartstrings and Roses.

The funds raised are to go towards a $40,000 Operating Room package of equipment for the Wainwright Health Centre.

“It’s been excellent and you couldn’t ask for a better entertainer,” said Ken McNeil, Health Foundation vice chair. Chairman Myron Zajic was not at the event, he was in the hospital himself, recovering from a gallbladder surgery.

“What we’re aiming for, because of the changes to Alberta Health Services and how they used to match what we fundraised, we’re looking for at total package of about $39,000,” he said. “Given the past history and the generosity of our community, I think we’ve got it.”

McNeil confirmed later in the week that with sizable independent and corporate donations, including memorial donations, over the past year, along with the fundraising dinner will cover the operating-room package.

“We’ve reduced what we were going to fundraise because of those changes to AHS,” said McNeil.

Last year, the Bumper to Bumper Charity Golf Tournament partnered with the Health Foundation to purchase the tela ultrasound equipment, after AHS put a freeze on buying diagnostic equipment.

“We’re not ruling out partnering again in the future, it’s nice that we have Grant Mills and his organization there, because we have similar goals,” said McNeil.

“We’ve found that the people of Wainwright, when dealing with health issues and equipment, they rise to the occasion,” said McNeil. “They do almost a parallel thing, about six months later, with our similar goals.”

The Health Board Foundation volunteers put together a great night each year, explained McNeil. “The volunteers do such a wonderful and we can’t emphasize the community involvement enough.”

Kidney transplant recipient Terry Murray explained that it’s fundraisers like this that help provide not only the important equipment, but show the patients that the community cares.

“The whole concept of health foundations, whether it’s our community, Lloydminster or even the U of A for example; when I had a kidney transplant it was that type of support that makes you feel like living even more because it’s more than just a doctor and a nurse or an OR room. It’s the people of the community that have stood up to make things like this possible for us.

“I’ve had a second life because of that transplant.”

Over the past number of years, the Health Foundation has facilitated the Dr. White Bursary, bumping up the bursary from $500 to $1,000. But, with declining interest rates, the allocated funds are not producing enough interest to continue granting the bursary. The Health Foundation has been in contact with Dr. White’s families and are requesting that the Foundation take the remaining funds and allocate them as bursaries until the money runs out.

Health Foundation member Lorraine Rutledge explained that the 320 tickets for the evening were sold out, including 19 corporate tables.

“Everybody is very supportive of helping in the medical field,” said Rutledge. “We want support for our own area and trying to look after our own needs and all the money stays in the community. Myron is in the hospital and it’s this equipment would be a benefit.

“This is giving back to our people and trying to update our equipment,” she said.

Wainwright doctor Dr. Gordon Anderson said that it is great that the community comes together for fundraising events like this one.

“It is wonderful that Wainwright and community do this and that all the funds stay locally,” said Anderson. “We appreciate the fundraisers very much.

“These are things that we get help promote the services that we can do and these things will help attract specialists, that’s the whole purpose behind that, I hope.

“Wainwright’s community has been great, like always.”

Feb 2010
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