Kelowna General Hospital Foundation surpasses fundraising goal

Latest KGH campaign hauls in $7.5 million, 25 per cent more than anticipated.

Doug Rankmore

The Kelowna General Hospital Foundation said 2 1/2 years ago that it wanted to raise $6 million to help equip KGH’s new Centennial Building, construction of which had just started.

On Tuesday, six months after the building opened, the foundation announced it has not only reached its goal, but surpassed it by 25 per cent.

And the money raised has already been used to buy state-of-the-art equipment for several departments.

“This campaign was the most ambitious goal we have ever undertaken during a time of an unprecedented level of development to health care in Kelowna,” said foundation chairwoman Karen Borring-Olsen.

“To overachieve the goal (and raise $7.5 million) is a testimonial to the extraordinary support and commitment of our donors, volunteers and staff.

“It speaks to our community’s belief in our work and to our impact.”

The fundraising campaign, dubbed Take Care, Take Part, not only raised millions for new equipment in areas like emergency and optholmology, the extra money raised also helped pay for a third trauma room in the new, larger emergency department, said Doug Rankmore, CEO of the foundation.

Rankmore said he was not surprised the campaign exceeded its goal by 25 per cent, calling Kelowna a very generous community that supports its hospital.

The success of the campaign was also lauded by Interior Health CEO Dr. Rob Halpenny, who called the support of groups like the foundation “integral” to providing the best in health care here with the most up-to-date equipment.

“Without our auxiliaries, volunteers and foundations, our system would struggle,” said Halpenny.

“They are integral to the daily operation and future planning.”

Rankmore said when the new six-storey Centennial Building at KGH was being planned, the foundation members sat down with IHA officials to discuss what additional equipment would be needed and a plan was drawn up for the fundraising campaign.

To mark the completion and success of Take Care, Take Part, the foundation unveiled a glass and multi-media donor wall in the lobby of the Centennial Building on Tuesday, that includes panels etched with names of the major contributors.

Speaking Tuesday in front of the new donor wall and windows that look out onto the hospital’s next big construction project, the site of the future $345-million Interior Heart and Surgical Centre, Rankmore said that project will be the target for the foundation’s next major fundraising campaign.

He said talks are still in the preliminary stage with IHA and while the campaign will be another multi-year effort, no goal has been set yet because the needs for the new centre have yet to be identified.

The IHSC will be built on the site of KGH’s old Pandosy Building, which is currently being demolished.

Construction of the new three-storey cardiac care centre is set to start in March 2013 and be complete by the fall of 2015.

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