Crowd2Hub Staff

There was a great turnout to Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation's Donor and Volunteer Appreciation night on October 14, held at Saugeen Golf Club.

Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation Chair, Jonna Ebel welcomed and thanked everyone for attending. “Thank you for everything you've done over the last year for the Foundation. Whether for your donation of time or money, every second and every penny has made a difference,” she said.

CEO of Grey Bruce Health Services, Lance Thurston said that GBHS's annual budget is $180 million and that they have 1,600 staff, about 250 physicians and over 1,100 volunteers. “We have almost as many volunteers as we do staff which is quite a remarkable statistic,” he said.

Thurston told of an $11.4 million capital campaign, of which they are currently just over $10.4 million, and explained that because hospitals do not secure funding from the province for capital equipment, once a building is built it's up to them to furnish, equip and maintain it. “Having the community come together and fundraising for that specialty equipment that otherwise we could not afford,” he said. “We are so thankful to have folks like yourselves that are committed to the cause.”

Speaking about the Southampton hospital in particular, Thurson said, “That ER expansion is going to mean three and a half times more space in the ER.” He added that there will be 12 new rooms, nine treatment rooms, two ambulatory care rooms and a dedicated decontamination room. “The ER is the second busiest within our system with over 16,000 visits annually.”

He added that after the expansion, the lab will be two times larger than the current lab facilities.

“Our success as an organization is your success and your investment in Grey Bruce Health Services. And in your local hospital, Saugeen Memorial, is an investment in this region. A strong hospital equates to a strong region,” Thurston said.

Campaign Chair, Tony Sheard said that it was only 18 months ago that the hospital campaign was launched in Saugeen Shores. “Locally we've done exceptionally well and with the help of a dedicated team of volunteers and the very generous support of our community at all levels we are well on the way to achieving our goal.”

He explained that the goal was to raise $2.9 million. The amount received to date totals $1.9 million and with outstanding promised pledges they are on target to achieve their goal. “If we look at our top ten corporate and organizational donors they represent 55 percent of our total goal and one in five Saugeen Shores households have directly donated to the campaign. A very big thank you to all of you,” said Sheard.

A panel of financial experts then spoke about the Foundation's Planned Gifting program, giving advice on ways to donate through financial planning and life insurance and receiving tax benefits through donations.

Plaques were awarded to the top ten organizational and corporate donors to the campaign, which included Bruce Power, Chantry Island Cham-bettes, Saugeen Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Corporation of the Town of Saugeen Shores, Rotary Huron Shores Run, Power Workers’ Union Local 1000, Pretty in Pink, Rice Developments and Piper’s Glen Golf Club as well as the Port Elgin and Southampton Rotary Clubs.

Foundation Executive Director, Sally Kidson gave praise to Rev. Dr. Dwight Biggs, who has been the hospital chaplain since 2010. Biggs is moving on from the Saugeen Memorial site to a position within the spiritual chaplaincy program at GBHS and Kidson said he has been a most important and cherished member of the team.

Jonna Ebel then took to the mic to talk about the Foundation's newly designed logo. “You will begin to see this logo on our publications after tonight and on our website as well as our Facebook page and Twitter account.” Ebel gave thanks to Brad Smith of Canvas Studios - who created the design - for his time, creativity and advice.VolunteersMayorlogo