Hospital fundraiser brings in cash for equipment
The St. Paul Healthcare Centre will soon be home to some new and improved medical equipment thanks to the efforts of some very dedicated volunteers and generous donors.
The St. Paul & District Hospital Foundation hosted its annual fundraiser on March 1 at the St. Paul Rec. Centre. The hall was nearly filled to capacity, with few empty seats available for the evening, which included food, entertainment and auctions.
Silent auction items filled tables throughout the hall, and live auction items were on display, tempting community members to open their wallets and donate funds to the cause.
Although a total amount of funds raised wasn’t available as of the Journal’s press deadline, the live auction portion of the event brought in over $20,000 on its own, while cheques were also received from four organizations on Saturday.
The St. Paul Healthcare Auxiliary donated $10,000; the St. Paul Elks donated $10,000; Royal Canadian Legion Branch #100 donated $5,000; and Canadian Natural Resources Limited donated $8,000. A 50/50 draw, a raffle for an iPad, and the silent auction raised additional funds.
Linda Kryzanowski, chairperson of the St. Paul & District Hospital Foundation, confirmed after the event that she was confident the foundation had raised at least the same amount as last year’s event, if not more. Last year nearly $70,000 was raised.
“It was such a wonderful, exciting evening,” said Kryzanowski of this year’s event.
Formed in 1990, the hospital foundation has been coordinating and utilizing funds donated to the St. Therese-St. Paul Healthcare Centre. The money is used to purchase equipment from a wish list. This year, a Complete Blood Count (CBC) machine and birthing bed were at the top of the list. The equipment has a combined value of $75,000.
About 30 more silent auction items were up for bid this year, when compared to the amount collected for past fundraisers.
“We are very proud of our businesses here,” said Kryzanowski, as she spoke to those in attendance Saturday night.
Michelle Blanchette, the site manager for the hospital, also addressed the crowd and pointed out that the event takes a lot of dedication and support from everyone involved, and she had a strong appreciation for all the support received from the community.
“This is an amazing opportunity,” said Blanchette.
Dr. Albert Harmse also spoke on Saturday night and challenged those in attendance to raise a lot of funds for the equipment. He pointed to an event in Edmonton that raised over $100,000 recently and said efforts in St. Paul compare very well to those in the city.
“Tonight, I think we can challenge the big city,” said Harmse, adding, as a physician in St. Paul, he is very thankful for the community’s efforts to purchase medical equipment, which translates to better service for patients at the hospital.
“Thank you very much for being here and let’s go for a big one,” said Harmse.
Town of St. Paul councillor and deputy mayor Judy Bogdan offered her thanks to the foundation, as both a local politician and Alberta Health Services employee.
“The volunteers here are proof that St. Paul is a people kind of place,” she said, adding, the people who make up the foundation have “genuine hearts” as they work toward creating a better quality of care for everyone.
“When we have healthy people, we have a healthy community,” said Bogdan.