John Moorhouse is the development and communications officer for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.

Foundation Notes: SOS Medical foundation fundraiser shifts gears

There will be two brochure version for the Tree of Dreams fundraiser this year

For the past 14 years, the South Okanagan Similkameen (SOS) Medical Foundation has promoted our annual Tree of Dreams fundraising campaign to help purchase medical equipment for Penticton Regional Hospital.

For the last four of those years, the Tree of Dreams was specifically earmarked to provide medical equipment for the PRH expansion.

With the new David E. Kampe Tower now open, it’s time to shift gears. Brochures for the 2019 Tree of Dreams campaign will be going out in the mail soon. This year there are two different versions.

In the Oliver and Osoyoos area, residents are being asked to contribute towards the emergency department upgrade at the South Okanagan General Hospital. The local hospital auxiliary, Kiwanis, Oliver Aktion Club and Royal Canadian Legion Branch 97 have already committed big dollars towards the SOGH project. Also, we have an Oliver resident who has generously offered a $30,000 matching donation.

At the same time, residents in Penticton and other areas of the South Okanagan Similkameen are asked to help fund medical equipment at PRH, including a new mammography machine, a second hip surgery table, a new electro-encephalogram (EEG) unit and colonoscopy scopes. The total value of these items is $925,000.

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Meanwhile, work is underway on the emergency department renovations at PRH, as well as the hospital’s pharmacy, which will be moved from the basement level to the former surgical area on the second floor. The operating rooms have now moved into new spacious facilities in the new tower. Phase 2 construction will be finished by the fall of 2021, which will mark the completion of the $312-million PRH project.

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We just can’t say enough about the great folks at the Okanagan Fest of Ale. A total of $60,000 in proceeds from the 2019 Fest of Ale was recently distributed to more than 20 local non-profit organizations, including the SOS Medical Foundation, which received $10,000 for PRH. That marked the final payment towards an incredible five-year $50,000 pledge Fest of Ale made in 2015. Our sincerest thanks to everyone involved. Don’t miss the 25th annual Okanagan Fest of Ale to be held April 17 to 18, 2020 in Penticton.

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The Osoyoos Volunteer Fire Department has long been a strong community supporter. The fire department’s Paul Brunner recently stopped by South Okanagan General Hospital for the unveiling of a new trauma stretcher funded through a $5,000 donation from the fire department. Our thanks for a great contribution to SOGH.

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Finally, some well-deserved praise for the staff and volunteers at the Care Closet thrift store at 574 Main St. You may have noticed a recent news item that said so much about the people who work there. It seems an elderly woman dropped off a load of clothing, not realizing an item of “great value” had been included with the articles. Realizing this was an obvious mistake, the Care Closet contacted the Penticton RCMP who issued a news release asking the person who dropped off the clothing to contact them and identify the item. Seems it was a large amount of cash tucked into the breast pocket of a donated jacket and has since been claimed with great thanks. Huge kudos to everyone at the Care Closet for their actions.

By the way, net profits from the Care Closet are shared equally among its three partner organizations – the Penticton Hospital Auxiliary, Penticton and District Hospice Society and the SOS Medical Foundation. The combined third-quarter payment for this year amounted to a record $46,500. Fantastic!

John Moorhouse is the development and communications officer for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation. For information on donating, call 250-492-9027 or visit our website sosmedicalfoundation.com.

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