This Spring, I, and a group of “west end” Councillors, helped organize a large fundraising night at Saunders Farm for the Hope Blooms project to fund the expansion to the Hospital’s Mental Health Unit. The evening blew well past its target and raised over $530,000 – with $100,000 coming from one single surprise donor!
This event fell hard on the heels of another fundraising effort. In 2016, Councillor Marianne Wilkinson and I organized an “Enchantment Under the Sea” dinner, complete with visits by Doc Brown and a flux-capacitor-equipped DeLorean. That “Back to the Future” event raised over $16,000 towards the new Acute Care for the Elderly (“ACE”) wing of the hospital. This is one of only two facilities in the Province to treat all of a patient’s ailments together, instead of dealing with, and prescribing for, each of them individually.
Nepean city governments had a proud tradition of leading the community to contribute to our hospital, the Queensway-Carleton. In fact, it was former Nepean Reeve Aubrey Moodie’s Council that actually co-founded the hospital and made the first donations to it.
The Provincial hospital funding framework has always required hospitals to fundraise from residents to pay for their medical equipment. And that is big money. Nepean always showed leadership with Andy Haydon’s and Ben Franklin’s Councils voting contributions to kick-start various capital campaigns to get the required community fundraising going.
Right after amalgamation, I, along with former Mayor Mary Pitt, Mayor Bob Chiarelli, and Councillors Hunter and Harder, consulted with Nepean residents and they asked us to fight to have $2 million of the former City of Nepean’s reserve funds saved and transferred to fund the creation of the Hospital’s new geriatric unit. We did that.