Picture This campaign hits the ground running

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

A full day community launch, with pancake breakfast and relay race will officially kick off the $1.5 million diagnostic imaging fundraising campaign

After months of work behind the scenes and some significant financial contributions, the Riverside Foundation for Health Care is finally ready for the public launch of their newest fundraising campaign.

The ‘Picture This’ campaign has been in the works for some time now, with Foundation director Allison Cox and the rest of the board and volunteers planning, organizing and collecting contributions that will help to refresh or replace a host of important equipment that is currently entering their end of life expectancy.

“We’ve been pretty busy behind the scenes here to secure some major donations, municipality donations,” Cox explained.

“We’ve reached the point where we are ready to publicly launch, start going out to the community to start encouraging community donations to come in.”

The date for the public launch in the district is Sunday, September 12, when the Foundation team will head out on the road for a number of events across the district that will also accompany some cheque donations.

“It’s an all-day event, and we’re going to start in Rainy River with a pancake breakfast,” Cox said.

“That takes place from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. From there we’re going to convoying with our courier van, the van that Riverside facilities use every day to bring things back and forth from site to site. We’re going to take the convoy to Emo and along the way we’re going to be stopping and doing some different cheque presentations. We’re stopping at Morley municipal building, Chapple municipal building, and at West Fraser before we end up in Emo.”

Once in Emo, the public will be invited to take part in a community luncheon, set to begin at 11:30 a.m. and lasting until 1:00 p.m..Following the luncheon, the Foundation will then be kicking off their D.I. Dash, a relay which will bring participants from Emo to La Verendrye General Hospital in Fort Frances.

“We’ve been getting some different individuals and teams signed up to complete different legs,” Cox said.

“We’ve got seven legs of the relay, all approximately five kilometres. We are still looking for a few more people to participate, so if anyone is interested they can give me a call at the office. some people are choosing to walk, some are running, some are biking.”

The relay will get underway at noon on the campaign launch day and Cox said they’re hoping for the final group of walkers, who will happen to be a team from the Diagnostic Imaging department, to wind up at the hospital right around 5:15 p.m.

“A barbecue is scheduled to start on site [at La Verendrye] at 5 p.m., so hopefully we’ll have a nice crowd to welcome our last crew of walkers,” Cox said.

“It will be great to have the team from Diagnostic Imaging finishing out the relay as they’re the ones that will using the new equipment that comes in. Everybody will be benefiting from it.”

Among the upgrades being planned are improvements to the x-ray rooms, purchasing an elevating fluoroscopy table and replacing the facility’s CT scanner and digital mammography machines. The Foundation has also made significant strides towards their final goal of $1.5-million due to the ongoing success of the Foundation’s 50/50 draw and a number of private donations. Cox noted that it’s common for a capital fundraising campaign like this to start off with a bit of a headstart thanks to behind the scenes work and donations, but she said she’s still surprised at how quickly it’s progressed.

“This is the first time I personally have been involved in a capital campaign so I can’t speak based on past experience, but we’ve reached this point much sooner than I had expected,” she said.

“The 50/50 draw has put a bit of money into the pot as well, but just in general the municipalities have been a huge support, West Fraser has signed on with a $50,000 commitment. And then we also had Royal Gold Corp., an investment partner of New Gold, they committed to $180,000. Every little thing helps and gets us a little closer to our goal.”

Never content to sit on their laurels, once the campaign has had its public launch, Cox explained there are still additional events to come to help raise money and give people something to look forward to.

“Right after the public launch we are going to be sending out our direct mail campaign,” she said.

“Instead of a Christmas appeal this year we’re doing this. Everyone can keep an eye on their mailboxes. In addition, Linda Hamilton, who is one of our co-chairs, has been busy collecting donations for a high-end silent auction. We’re looking at having that take place likely near the end of October. It’s going to be online and you can look forward to all of the items in it being of high quality.”

For more information about the Picture This campaign and the D.I. Dash, head to the Riverside Foundation for Health Care website at riversidefoundation.ca.