A bit of heart-warming news might be welcome on what has been a rather frigid January. Thanks to our hundreds of donors throughout the South Okanagan-Similkameen, the SOS Medical Foundation’s annual Christmas appeal was an incredible success.
During November and December, we received more than $900,000 towards our $20-million campaign to provide the medical equipment for the new patient care tower under construction at Penticton Regional Hospital. That boosted our total amount of donations and pledges received to date to $13.1 million. Wow! We still have $7 million to go, but with the community’s support it’s certainly an achievable goal.
The two construction cranes now on-site highlight the progress of the $312.5-million PRH expansion. The tower will be ready for patients in early 2019, just two years from now. Work will then begin on Phase 2, a much-needed expansion of the PRH Emergency Department to almost four times its present size.
Community support for the SOS Medical Foundation’s campaign has included a growing number of fundraising events.
The latest is being organized by the Princeton Rotary Club, which hosts its annual Wine Festival on February 18 at 7 p.m. at the Riverside Centre in Princeton. The evening will feature samples from wineries throughout the Similkameen and Okanagan, plus food tables, raffle prizes and more. Tickets are $40 each with proceeds to the Foundation’s PRH campaign. A fun night out for a great cause.
The Penticton Hospital Auxiliary raised more than $5,000 through its recent WestJet raffle. Only problem was two of the three prize winners were from out of town! Top prize of a pair of tickets to any WestJet destination was won by Ann Babb of Edmonton. Janice Bowes of Penticton won the $200 second prize, while the third prize of $150 went to Pat Wilkie of Vernon.
The Auxiliary also raised about $7,000 through its charity gift wrapping service at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre during December. Our thanks to the Auxiliary members, WestJet, the folks at Cherry Lane and all those who bought tickets or had gifts wrapped. The Penticton Hospital Auxiliary has pledged to contribute $250,000 over five years to our PRH campaign.
Care closet shares
One of the most quietly dependable supporters of health care in Penticton is The Care Closet at 574 Main St. The busy thrift store is jointly owned by the SOS Medical Foundation, the Penticton Hospital Auxiliary and the Penticton Hospice Society. Last year, The Care Closet generated over $185,000 which was split evenly between the three partner organizations.
Donations of clean clothing including winter coats, hats, scarves, boots, plus well cared for small appliances and household items are accepted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Our thanks to the donors, volunteers and staff.
Finally, a big thank you to members of the Penticton Adventurers Club, a group of active hikers age 50 and over. The club has donated $150 from its regular 50/50 draws to the Medical Foundation’s PRH campaign.
The Adventurers hold hikes on Wednesdays and weekends and host such social activities as dinners out, potluck suppers, and other activities including an annual three to four-day trip.
Guests are welcome to participate in two events before they decide whether to become a member. General meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month at the Seniors’ Drop-In Centre on South Main Street.
For information on donating, please call 250-492-9027 or visit our website sosmedicalfoundation.com.
John Moorhouse is the development and communications officer for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.