The Centre Grey Health Services Foundation today launched the Quality Care Close to You Campaign in support of construction of a new hospital in Markdale. The campaign has a goal of 12 million dollars. “We’re very excited about the campaign,” said Donna Hutton, Chair of the Foundation. “It is the most extraordinary undertaking in our area in the last fifty years.”
“This campaign is necessary,” stated Dan Rose, Foundation vice-chair. “The current hospital building, located on Isla Street, is over forty years old and nearing the end of its functional life. It’s all about getting a new state-of-the-art hospital and about making our community a better place to live.”
According to terms set by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, 50% of capital funding for new hospitals is provided by the Provincial Government and 50% is from local initiatives. “Based on the estimated 24 million dollar cost of the new hospital, our share is 12 million dollars,” said Mr. Rose.
Dr. Hamilton Hall, Chairperson of the Campaign, announced as part of the campaign launch that early fundraising efforts have already raised 6 million dollars in cash and pledges. “There have been some truly amazing gifts,” Dr. Hall exclaimed. “The initial response from local business and some members of our community has been outstanding. We have received individual donations of over $100,000, over $250,000 and over $400,000.”
Dr. Hall pointed out that this early support included sixteen exceptional gifts that raised $3,350,000 of the $6 million currently in hand. “That means local industry and service clubs are giving an average of more than $200,000 each, which by any standard is an incredible achievement.”
David Chapman, a member of the Major Gift Committee, agreed. “It has been phenomenal. I don’t think any other community in Ontario has given at a level that matches the gifts coming from our local business sector. The generosity has been truly impressive.”
Dick Kavanagh, who has been working to secure gifts from local residents, noted that pledging is the key. “There are financial resources within the community to reach the full $12 million, but to get there every wage earner has to do his or her part. The new hospital needs people to make multi-year pledges. They can budget their tax deductible financial commitment over a five year period. I am pleased that donors have really embraced the pledge system. That’s the way we’re going to get higher gifts.”
Other members of the campaign team include: Ernie Nichols, Norma Lawler, Geraldine Robinson, Willard Foster, Rosemary Southworth, Doug Henry, Katie Harrison, Art Jefferey, Pat Oldfield, Gary Bray, Larry Harris, Garry Swayze, Ruth Richardson, Elma McRae, Grant Preston, Chris Griffin, Dave and Marion Taylor, Ken and Marion Walker, Bill Coke, Doug Freeman, Wayne Ferris, John Hurst, Jake and Anne Marie Hammer, Bob Croft, Sandy Gott, Colleen Boer, Mike Croft, Barbara and Dr. David Sackett, Irene Fogal, Doug Maxwell, and Evelyn Best. “But this is only the beginning,” cautioned Dr. Hall. “We need everyone to help with the campaign. We need more volunteers willing to work hard on behalf of our new hospital”.
The campaign will grow throughout the summer as volunteers continue to canvas local businesses and citizens for donations. The effort is extensive, encompassing Dundalk, Flesherton, Markdale, Holland Centre, Berkeley, Feversham, Proton Station, Kimberley and Priceville. “The catchment area for the hospital starts just north of Chatsworth and runs south to Shelburne, west to Priceville and east to Feversham, including Beaver Valley and Lake Eugenia,” said Dan Rose. “That’s a big area that includes over 22,000 people.”
“Healthcare is our most precious resource,” said Donna Hutton. “That’s why this campaign is so important. It comes down to ensuring that quality care is available locally to every family and individual within our communities.”