Friday October 31, 2014

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Foundation fundraiser tops $60,000

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(L-R) Tara Daoust and Denise Saxon were among the volunteers who answered phones at the Radiothon.

15-4-LN-Foundation w pics

The St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation's radiothon topped the $50,000 mark for the second time in three years.

The event went off the air with a total of $52,210. Donations that came in after the event, including proceeds from the Estevan Bruins' special jersey silent auction, pushed the total to $60,100.

Hospital foundation executive director Becky Conly, who was involved with the radiothon for the first time, said it was an amazing experience that exceeded her expectations. Throughout the day, people dropped by the hospital to make a pledge, or phoned in a donation.

Schools, businesses and community organizations participated in fundraisers in the days leading up to the event.

This year's radiothon was held at the hospital for the first time; the two previous editions were at the Estevan Shoppers Mall.

"We had hundreds of people through the hospital's doors, which was really nice," Conly told Lifestyles. "We really enjoyed having it here at the hospital. The staff all really enjoyed the atmosphere that it created, and people walking through the doors really liked coming into the hospital and seeing the radiothon happen here in the lobby."

There were some challenges associated with having the fundraiser at the hospital, but Conly said that won't prevent the radiothon from remaining at St. Joseph's.

New for this year was a Face of the Radiothon – six-year-old Torquay-area resident Shaya Daae. The hospital's staff, physicians and equipment helped save the lives of Shaya and her mother, Shannon, when Shaya was born prematurely in February of 2008.

"Not only did it bring awareness to the hospital, and the great things that the staff do here, it also really added a personal touch to the radiothon – tugging at the heart strings of personal donors," said Conly.

Last year's radiothon fetched about $38,000. The first one in 2012 raised more than $100,000, but that figure included a $50,000 anonymous donation from a Lampman resident.

A decision has yet to be made on where this year's radiothon proceeds will be directed.

"I know that there's definitely some things at the top of the list that need to be purchased, including a blood pressure machine, and a couple of other things that we really need right now," said Conly.
The radiothon ran from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the 19th, and it was aired on Golden West Broadcasting's local radio stations and on Access Channel 7.

"We had people come in all day to volunteer to tell their stories on the air, everyone from patients who have had their children here, to patients who have had heart attacks, to people who have had family members in the hospital," said Conly.


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