The amount of generosity in the community can still surprise says columnist John Moorhouse. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)

Column: $200,000 donation to Penticton Regional Hospital more than ‘a little something’

The donation brings us closer to our goal of a second CT scanner at hospital

I’ll never forget the day when Dennis Ebner of the Penticton Christopher Society phoned the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation office and said their organization had a little something for us. We soon found out that “little something” was a great big surprise.

The Christopher Society’s recent $200,000 donation in support of our $3-million fundraising campaign for a second CT scanner at Penticton Regional Hospital gained headlines in media outlets throughout the area.

A new CT was not included in the original plans for Phase 2 of the PRH expansion, but it is definitely needed. The second machine will help reduce the heavy demand on the existing CT, which currently operates from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on-call overnight.

The Christopher Society’s donation reduces the amount still to be raised to about $600,000. If all goes well, we hope to achieve our goal by the end of December – thanks to the generosity of donors throughout the South Okanagan Similkameen. This, of course, includes Peters Bros. Construction which launched our CT campaign with an incredible $1.7-million donation.

But not all the SOS Medical Foundation’s funds go to support PRH. We also provide medical equipment for South Okanagan General Hospital in Oliver and other healthcare facilities in our region.

A year ago at this time, we launched a campaign to raise $280,000 for the $1.25-million Emergency Department upgrade at SOGH. The campaign was a huge success as residents and organizations in the South Okanagan donated more than $600,000.

Thanks also to those who supported the recent BLOOD (Bike Like One On Dialysis) Challenge in support of the Renal Department at PRH. The inaugural fundraiser saw $6,373 raised by participants and their sponsors. An extra big cheer for Dr. Andy Hamilton, who was the top fundraiser.

Congratulations to manager Marybeth Zelent and her group of volunteers on the 10th anniversary of the popular SOS Café located in the lobby of the David Kampe Tower at PRH.

Net proceeds from the café support the hospital through the SOS Medical Foundation. Marybeth and food service manager Lisa Barkman are the only paid employees with some four dozen volunteers making up the remainder of the staff. Huge kudos for what they do.

Finally, it would be totally remiss of me not to extend best wishes to Carey Bornn, who recently left the SOS Medical Foundation after serving as our Executive Director for the past four years. Carey oversaw the successful completion of our $20-million campaign to provide medical equipment for the $312-million PRH expansion project. Carey, we wish you continued success in your next endeavour.

John Moorhouse is the development and communications officer for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.


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