Friday September 19, 2014

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Campaign surpasses $1.5 million mark

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The fundraising campaign to bring a computed tomography (CT) scanner to St. Joseph's Hospital in Estevan is a little more than two months old, but it has already cleared the $1.5 million mark.

The St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation has to raise $2 million to pay for the cost of purchasing the CT scanner and renovating the area where it will be located, as well as paying for the initial operation costs.

"We're definitely surprised (to raise so much so quickly), but we're overwhelmed with the donations that we've received in terms of how amazing Estevan's corporate and individual donors are," said hospital foundation director Becky Conly. "Estevan's an extremely generous community, and we're very grateful to live in a community with such giving people."

Businesses and individuals have stepped forward to support the campaign. Some estate donations have also come in. Some of the contributions have been anonymous.

"Many people can't afford to give thousands of dollars, so they just come in and give what they can," said Conly. "Every little bit counts. We appreciate those $100 and $50 donations just as much as any other amount, because every amount adds up to the total we're trying to reach."

Southeast Saskatchewan residents realize how important the CT scanner is to the future of St. Joseph's Hospital, she said, and that's played a big role in the support that they have received.

The foundation is awaiting word on a couple more corporate donations, she said, which would boost the total.

Conly said she is optimistic that they will reach the $2 million target before the end of the year.

Not only will the addition of a CT scanner benefit those who live close to Estevan, but it will help those in rural communities in the far southeast corner, because they won't have to travel more than two hours to Regina to access the technology any longer. 

The provincial government announced plans to bring a CT scanner to the hospital back in June. At that time, it was announced that the hospital foundation would be tasked with the fundraising campaign.

The day of the CT scanner announcement, more than $1 million in donations were revealed from southeast residents and municipalities. Ron and Shirley Carson donated $500,000, so the scanner will be located in the Ron and Shirley Carson Diagnostic Centre.


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