18th annual QEH/EastLink Telethon has most succesful year yet
STRATFORD - The firsthand stories from grateful former patients of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital are what Adam Balderston always remembers from the annual QEH/EastLink Telethons.
Balderston, chair of the QEH Foundation’s board of directors, heard many of those stories over the weekend during the eighteenth annual telethon, which saw $727,275 raised for the hospital.
“I remember (those stories) because you never know when you or a family member, loved one or friend needs to use the QEH,” said Balderston just moments after the grand total was revealed. “When that need occurs, it’s nice to know that we’ve done what we can to have it (QEH equipment) available to us.”
Residents, businesses, and other groups from Prince Edward Island and beyond outdid themselves again this year by raising the highest total to date.
This year’s donations will be put towards purchasing equipment for the operating room, physical medicine, stroke care, P.E.I. Cancer Treatment Centre, provincial lab and many other areas.
Telethon chair Chris Whitlock said he was beyond proud of the success this year.
“It is an outstanding feeling to know the impact we are making for families all across P.E.I.,” he said.
The largest donation came in the final hour of the telethon and was a $300,000 cheque from the QEH Auxiliary.
Auxiliary president Dorothy Johnston said that cheque will go towards sterilization equipment.
“It will also (benefit) not only the patients, but the staff so disease doesn’t spread,” said Johnston.
Johnston said raising the amount required a tremendous amount of support from both volunteers and auxiliary members.
“It’s dedicated people. They are there there in ice, rain, sleet and snow,” said Johnston. “They are there every step of the way.”
For the eighteenth year in a row, Marlene MacDonald anchored the desk during the 18-hour event.
Approximately 20 co-hosts helped MacDonald on the anchor desk, while
others conducted interviews with former patients and accepted donations from community groups.
Local musicians also put their talent on display.
Fiddler Cynthia MacLeod had a packed house at EastLink TV headquarters stomping and clapping along during the final minutes of the telethon.
Bruce MacLean, EastLink TV’s regional manager for P.E.I., said the company always look forward to the event and is honoured to partner with the foundation in supporting the Island’s main referral hospital.
MacLean said the telethon’s success is only possible through the hard work and dedication of many volunteers, including the entertainers, production crews and those who donated.
Balderston also thanked those individuals.
“We are so grateful to everyone who gave of their time, their talent and their financial support to help provide quality healthcare through the purchase of medical equipment for the QEH.”
Organizers said the hospital’s medical equipment needs are ongoing and donations can still be made to the telethon by calling the foundation at (902) 894-2425 or online through www.qehfoundation.pe.ca