Schmirler Foundation supports more cribs at KGH

Tournament fundraiser supports Canadian curler Sandra Schmirler's foundation with $47,000 raised for acute care of premature infants.

Members of the Sandra Schmirler Foundation Golf Tournament organizing committee join event sponsors Nutri Lawn’s Bill and Judy Mackenzie (4th and 5th from left) and title sponsor Winn Rentals Carmel Gretzinger (far right) to present a cheque for $47

It was literally a ‘cause’ for celebration this past June at the second annual Sandra Schmirler Foundation Golf Tournament.

Not only was a staggering $47,000 raised to support the acute care of premature infants at Kelowna General Hospital, it was also Sandra’s birthday.

The atmosphere was festive as Schmirler’s former curling teammates took to the links with 150 friends and supporters to raise money for a very important cause.

The goal was to raise enough to purchase seven new cribs for the neonatal intensive care (NICU) unit at KGH.

“All of our NICU cribs are nearing the end of their service life and need to be replaced,” noted Bobbi McGrath, manager of women’s and children’s health services at KGH.

“This is an incredible gift. The new state-of-the-art cribs will allow us to assure the highest quality of care for our very vulnerable little newborns.”

“We are thrilled!” said event chair Sasha Carter about achieving their goal.

“We are so grateful to have had Sandra’s Olympic Gold Medallist teammates — Jan Betker, Joan McCusker, Marcia Gudereit and Lindsay Sparkes — join us all the way from Saskatchewan.

“It was such a great day, and a wonderful way to honour an amazing lady.”

Schmirler rose to international fame as the charismatic skip of the Canadian Olympic team that won the gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics, the first year women’s curling was a medal sport.

Schmirler passed away in 2000 at age 36, but her legacy for leadership and compassion live on through the foundation that bears her name.

Funds, donated to the KGH Foundation, will go directly towards the purchase of the NICU cribs.

The upgraded NICU is part of the overall expansion of the perinatal unit at KGH, which opened last March and now occupies the 4th floor of the new Interior Heart and Surgical Centre.

“This group is just so much fun,” said Doug Rankmore, CEO of the KGH Foundation, who also golfed in the tournament.

“We are incredibly grateful to be the beneficiary of their generosity for the second year in a row.”

Through the Giving Giggles campaign, the KGH Foundation continues its commitment to raising $3 million to support the purchase of advanced medical equipment and patient care items for the newly expanded perinatal unit at KGH.