Become a hospital hero

 In Business, Community

Collingwood General and Marine Hospital Foundation is hoping to encourage and inspire people in the community to become Hospital Heroes.
Event coordinator Linda Caron said the Hospital Heroes program encourages fundraisers of any kind.
Last year, at the beginning of the pandemic, Caron said people were hosting all kinds of events and activities online as fundraisers, for example virtual fitness and hikes.
“We know that people are getting really tired – tired of screen time and things like that – so we haven’t had as much this year,” said Caron.
It’s all about utilizing an existing opportunity to fundraise or getting creative and organizing something new. Sometimes people collect the money and make a donation to the foundation and sometimes people sell tickets and have the money flow to the hospital directly. The foundation has supports in place to work with organizers to allow for online ticket sales with no fees.
Caron said, for the second year, the foundation as had to cancel its main annual fundraiser when it became clear that provincial guidelines would not allow for any gatherings of that size. Tax dollars only fund the bare bones of the hospital. More than 90 per cent of all medical equipment and technology is funded through community support.
Money raised will help to pay for virtually everything used to diagnose and treat patients at the Collingwood Hospital. The foundation is currently looking to buy new technologically advanced patient beds at approximately $15,500 each.
Emma Greasley and Jessica Ridding at Purple Hill Lavender Farm became Hospital Heroes last summer when they decided to charge a $10 entrance fee to the farm and donate the proceeds to the foundation.
“Covid was very prevalent on everyone’s minds,” said Greasley. “Everyone was feeling very grateful for doctors, nurses and hospital staff.”
Ridding had just had her second baby at G&M Hospital and both sisters were on maternity leave at the time, making hospitals and access to health care top of mind.
“We know a lot of people who work there and just knowing how hard they work and that they were putting their lives at risk every day,” said Ridding.
Having opened in 2019, the summer of 2020 was supposed to be the first full year of operation for Purple Hill Lavender Farm so when the pandemic hit, they said they were very grateful to be able to open at all even with limits of the number of visitors.
Purple Hill Lavender Farm grows nine varieties of lavender and attracts visitors who want to take in the beautiful scenery, learn about production, and have their photos taken in a sea of purple.
Because they have 50 acres and people can spread out, walk the trails, bring a picnic or take-out from the local restaurants, the public was allowed to visit but they had to book appointments. The entrance fees resulted in a $2,000 donation for the foundation.
This year, they will be charging $15 admission, with a donation going once more to the foundation at the end of the season.
Tickets will not be sold at the gate. They must be purchased online in advance, for either the morning or afternoon time slot, Thursday through Sunday. Children under 12 must have a ticket, although their admission is free. The retail store capacity is limited to two people. The store is where the lavender products, many of which are made on site, including a new pump hand soap by popular demand, new men’s products, jewellery, a tea blend and branded water bottles.
With the weather being nice and hot this spring, peak bloom has begun. For details and tickets, visit purplehilllavender.com.
To become a hospital hero, click on the events tab at www.cgmhf.com or contact Caron at caronl@cgmh.on.ca or 705-444-8645.

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