The Lillooet District Hospital Foundation has a record of ambitious fundraising goals at its annual Harvest Dinner and Auction, and this year’s target will fit right in with that 23-year history.
Specifically, the plan is to replace every bed at Mountainview Lodge–and these aren’t cheap beds.
“Our last one was the Slit Lamp, which was about $27,000, so we’re kind of doubling our goal this year–shoot for the stars–so this one, we need 22 beds and we’re going to aim high at $2,300 a bed, for Mountainview Lodge, so it works out to between 45 and $50,000,” said foundation treasurer Taylor Ferron, who would like to see most of that money raised on that one evening.
“We’re hoping we could go really high and do $40,000 at least but we’re happy with anything we raise, really.”
It should be noted that everything the foundation has raised so far this year – no piddling amount as you’re about to see–has already been spent on much-needed hospital equipment, and the members are heading into this major fundraising blitz of their year with nothing in the bank.
“There’s no money in it, we’re starting out fresh; we just approved a whole list of other equipment.”
That list includes a bunch of equipment for Mountain View Lodge, emergency room transport equipment, a port cardiac monitor, two of those $1,500 Spirit beds, a trauma stretcher for the operating room and an elevated chair. That’s all money raised and equipment purchased so far this year–with a total price tag of $44,300.
This group has been raising money and helping to equip the local hospital with this kind of commitment since 1996, and the result has been a list of equipment far too long to list and a total figure funding the purchases that sits at a rather staggering $1,213,847.24.
“This is all money from the foundation, which in the long run is our community,” Ferron said.
“It’s our community that buys the raffle tickets, it’s our community members that come to the dinner, we rely a lot on community members to help us reach our goals.”
And while that list–never mind the bed campaign that hopes to double it or more next month–is the opposite of piddling, it’s also worth noting with appreciation, or maybe awe, that number of people making it all happen is… not huge.
“We have five.”
That’s on the board, there are also about that many volunteers who can be counted on to pick up the phone when called and come out to help with whatever needs to be done, Ferron said.
“We have, I think, 11 spots available on the board. So, we’re always accepting new members, new board members, the AGM’s coming up on the 11th if anyone’s interested.”
That meeting is in the hospital board room and starts at 7 p.m.; you don’t have to be a hospital employee to get involved.
“Or even if there’s any people, come the Harvest Dinner night, that want to help decorate or run a game or anything like that – we like volunteers.”
Back to the Harvest Dinner.
The menu hasn’t been finalized but there are big plans for to switch it up from last year’s hugely successful spread. Whatever is chosen will be locally sourced and grown.
“And then we have silent auctions, live auction items, the majority of it is donated, we do buy some prizes but we want to keep the spending low to raise more. A lot of the merchants will give us gift baskets full of the merchandise they have. We get fishing trips donated, helicopter rides, gold, jade, barbecues, it’s a wide range of stuff.”
The Harvest Dinner and Auction is at the Elks Hall on Oct. 5; doors open at 5:30 with dinner–buffet style–served at 6:30.
“And then we figure out a game to see whose table goes first. It’s supposed to be a very relaxed, fun night, no pressure, you can come out and sit and enjoy the company with friends.”
Tickets are $30 each and can be purchased at the BRLN office, at the front office at the hospital, or from any member or by contacting the foundation through its Facebook page or at Lillooethospitalfoundation@gmail.com. Or you can call Jessica McLellan at (778) 209-0253 or Taylor Ferron at (250) 256-3710.