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Bow Island Health Foundation trust surges ahead

Posted on November 12, 2021 by 40 Mile Commentator
Commentator/Courier Photo by Samantha Johnson From left, Debbie Shaw, site manager of Bow Island Health Centre, Brenda Liggett, acting chair of Bow Island Health Foundation and Alta Magee— secretary for Bow Island Health Foundation spoke the Commentator about the how COVID has made an impact on fundraising efforts.

By Samantha Johnson


Even with the challenges of fundraising over the past two years, the Bow Island Health Foundation is as important as ever to the local community.

Debbie Shaw, site manager for the Bow Island Health Centre, said the past two years have brought many “challenges of fundraising. There is lots of loss in the community around COVID, so the Trees of Hope Campaign starting up on November 15th is a great opportunity for people to memorialize their loved ones.”

Members of the service area will receive a newsletter this month via Canada Post and inside there will be a letter about the Trees of Hope and a form for submitting a donation. All money raised from the Trees of Hope goes exclusively to palliative care.

Starting on Dec. 1, will be the Toonie Lottery.

Tickets cost $52 and will be available through the Health Foundation office, located in the hospital and can either be dropped back off or mailed in.

Alta Magee, secretary of the board, explained, “when we first started the lottery, it was to get staff more aware and more involved in the Health Foundation. It’s always been an open purchase, but the payroll deduction made it quite convenient for staff to buy their tickets, with a toonie being taken off each of the 26 pay periods.”

The lottery offers 15 opportunities to win, and first draw is in January with a grand prize draw of $2,000 the following December. If a ticket is bought after January, the price doesn’t change but the number of opportunities to win decreases.

As both of those fundraisers can be done by mail in, they have been able to proceed throughout COVID. “One of the biggest challenges in the last two years,” said Shaw, “is the loss of the Community Garage Sale, which is a really large event in Bow Island.”

The garage sale is a good way for the community to clean out their closets, basements and sheds and donate it to a cause for the hospital. Anything not sold is passed on so other organizations also benefit, such as the SPCA, 4-H, woman’s shelter and the Diabetes Association. The Health Foundation is hoping to hold a garage sale, restrictions permitting, in June of 2022 and make it a 3-day event.

Many of the Health Foundations other activities were also affected by COVID. “Any of the community events that we had displays at where we could inform people about what we were doing and the projects we were working on. It’s affected our ability to do raffles because we don’t have the personal contact with people to be able to sell the tickets. Whether we were at Market in the Park, the Legion, or the Golden Age Club, basically those events were cancelled so it affected our ability to get the word out and sell tickets,” said Magee.

Other than the garage sale, one of the most significant fundraisers for the Health Foundation was the casinos. Magee explained, “we were just ready to have our next casino when they got shut down. We just did a casino in July of this year after 2.5 years of not having one and now it will be 18 months until the next one.” The Health Foundation can raise $11,000 – $12,000 from one night of fundraising in the casino.

The Bow Island Health Foundation is a vital part of Bow Island and the surrounding area, both supporting and being supported by the community. The money raised from their fundraising efforts help to support a number of programs, including buying equipment for the hospital, offering scholarships to community members in the healthcare field, and providing access to conferences and courses for staff.

Nan Maclean, trustee on the board, said the public can put it nicely by saying, “the foundation is surging ahead, and we continue to be here serving the community.”

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