‘Buy a brick’ drive nears halfway mark

With just over five weeks left in the year, the fundraising drive for the new Rainy River Hospital has raised $144,500–nearly half of the $300,000 local share.
As of Monday, 289 of the 595 bricks in the “Buy a brick, build it quick” campaign have been pledged at $500 each.
“Last week was a real incredible week and I hope this week will be as well,” noted Ken Johnston, editor of the Rainy River Record and one of the organizers of the “buy a brick” drive.
“I’m hoping to go over the halfway mark this week,” he added.
“Each week we have some additions to [the wall],” noted Larry Armstrong, co-chair of the fundraising committee.
The hospital auxiliary has completed its phone drive in the 852 exchange, Armstrong added, with efforts still continuing in the 488 and 483 call areas.
The next big step will be a mail-out campaign, which will include pledge forms, a history of the hospital and some of its doctors, and a picture of the blueprints for the new building.
“I think we’re doing around 1,300 to start,” Johnston said, with addresses in Pinewood, Stratton, and Sleeman being targeted.
“They’ll be printing extras so we’ll have some to hand out at things like the hospital auxiliary’s tea and bazaar,” he added, noting he hoped to get them circulated in the next week or two.
“We haven’t really explored the corporate area [either],” Armstrong said. “We’re hoping to do that, too.”
The committee has set Dec. 31 as its target to reach $300,000 in pledges. Armstrong admitted the committee had hoped pledges would have been coming in a bit faster than they are now but stressed he hasn’t given up hope on making the deadline.
“We know we still have $50,000 in pledges to come from the Legion,” he noted. “We just have to raise the other $100,000.”
“[The hospital project] is 15 years in the making–you’ve got to be positive and keep plugging away,” echoed Johnston. “We’ll see how it goes.”