In just the third full day of the Friends of the Golden & District Hospital’s fundraising campaign, the group’s lofty $36,000 goal had already been reached.
A combination of donations from local businesses, Goldenites and a significant number of Calgarians helped the campaign reach its goal well ahead of schedule. Keith Hern, who spearheaded the campaign following the recent passing of his wife Frances, says that he isn’t shocked at the response from the community.
“You always have doubts until you get going…but (with) the tremendous response I was getting before…I had an inner sense that this was going to go really well and of course it has,” Hern said.
The funds will go towards the purchase of small ticket items at the Golden hospital.
“It’s very difficult for the hospital to raise money for small items and there’s some processing challenges…anything larger than $5000 has to go through a fairly lengthy approval process with Interior Health,” Hern said.
Items that will be purchased thanks to this campaign include a rehab trainer, a warming cabinet for Durand Manor and a vital signs monitor for the surgical department.
The cause is a personal one for Hern. He’s not only appreciative of the care provided to Frances during her lengthy battle with breast cancer, but he also benefited from the service at the hospital himself when he had a pacemaker put in.
“Frances was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 so we’ve had a struggle here for eight years…the staff at the hospital were extremely good,” he said.
“It’s not just this latest experience of her passing. It’s been everything they’ve done for us for (eight) years,” he added.
And achieving the fundraiser’s goal was a team effort, with donations coming in from Golden and beyond.
“There was a huge outcry from our personal friends, Frances’ writing group, then of course the local businesses got totally behind it and then the individuals started pouring in. It’s community-wide in Golden and community-wide as it reaches to all of Frances’ friends,” Hern said.
While the $36,000 total was reached well ahead of schedule, donations continued to pour in over the rest of the campaign. As of Friday afternoon, just under $44,000 had been raised with Hern saying the new goal was $50,000.
Extra funds will be used for equipment in the future, as needs arise.