Friends for Life Campaign aims for $2 million

Jim Day
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Lofty fundraising goal set for hospital equipment campaign

QEH Foundation chair Spencer Campbell, left, and Friends for Life Campaign chair Dr. Jerry O'Hanley encourage Islanders to help the foundation reach its ambitious $2 million fundraising target.

Just try to buy a brand new ultrasound unit today without dropping more than a hundred grand. Good luck.

Keeping up with steadily advancing technology to care for Islanders is an increasingly pricey proposition for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

For years, the QEH Foundation has run its annual Friends for Life Campaign raise money to purchase much needed equipment for the province's main referral centre.

The foundation raised about $100,000 in its first year almost three decades ago.

A lofty fundraising goal of $1 million was set for the first time in 2001 — and the target was reached.

Last year, $1.3 million was donated to the Friends for Life Campaign.

Still, demand for new, better equipment at the QEH continues to climb. So too do the price tags.

So this year's fundraising goal is being raised up, way up, to $2 million. The bar, says QEH Foundation chair Spencer Campbell, simply needed to be raised.

"What you find is that the list (of equipment needs) continues to grow,'' he said.

"Things are just constantly advancing and improving so we want to do our best to make sure that we have the best possible medical equipment available in the province.''

Campbell is confident that Islanders will step up to help the foundation reach its ambitious $2 million fundraising target.

He points to the success of the major capital campaign that raised almost $23 million for the hospital as a clear indication of how much value Islanders attach to the QEH.

He notes a lot of annual donors to the hospital have become "more comfortable'' with the idea of giving a little bit more than in the past.

"I think one of the unique aspects of the QEH is that most Islanders are touched by it...there would be very few Islanders who have not had need for the QEH's services whether for themselves or a member of their family,'' he added.

The QEH Foundation launched its 2012 annual Friends for Life Campaign Thursday with the introduction of this year's campaign chair Dr. Jerry O'Hanley.

O'Hanley, an eye surgeon at the hospital, credits the QEH Foundation and its donors for making his important work possible.

"QEH doctors and staff have a deep appreciation of how the medical equipment arrives to our hospital,'' he said.

"Donors to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital are among the most generous and we hope that we can count on everyone's support again this year to help us deliver the best possible care to our patients.''

An Island-wide mailout campaign will soon begin. O'Hanley encourages all Islanders to show they care by making a gift of any amount, big or small, to help address the long list of medical equipment on this year's priority list.

Topping the list is four new ultrasound units, two lasers for ophthalmology, three new gas machines for anesthesia, and rehabilitation equipment for helping P.E.I. stroke care patients.

The campaign received a good shot in the arm Thursday with several donations, including a $100,000 gift from Lois Olive, who operates the Saint Nicholas Motel in Rustico. She credits the compassionate care doctors and nurses provided to her late husband Peter Olive at the QEH with spurring her to make such a substantial gift.

Other donations formally made Thursday were $80,000 from the hospital auxiliary, $73,853 from the hospital's staff, $15,193 from the Parkdale Sherwood Lions Club, and $10,000 raised by Ashton MacNeil and Kenton Smallman through their Kayaking for Cancer campaign that saw the pair kayak around the island in the summer.

Organizations: Islanders, QEH Foundation, Annual Friends for Life Campaign Parkdale Sherwood Lions Club

Geographic location: Iceland, Rustico

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Recent comments

  • spud
    November 09, 2012 - 07:30

    Wow!! Is that Dr O'Hanley with a smile on his face?????????

  • Nailed It
    November 09, 2012 - 06:03

    To Get a New Frontman: You nailed it! Dr. O'Hanley is a wonderful human being and I'd be happy to write him a cheque. Mr. Campbell should take a percentage of all of his PNP files and donate it. It will be interesting to hear Murray Murphy on CBC's political panel. While Murray would love to criticize the PNP, doing so would be stabbing a lot of his clients in the back!

  • get a new frontman if you want my money
    November 08, 2012 - 20:22

    Sorry your pitchman says it all to me. Spencers got the list where all his friends raked millions from immigrants. Have spence robo call his friends.