Hospital foundation continues fundraising efforts in face of COVID-19

May 1, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Alyssa Parkhill

With the global COVID-19 pandemic continuing, Headwaters Health Care Foundation understands the struggles and difficulties our community is going through mentally, emotionally and financially. 

Yet, HHCF is astonished by the response it has seen from the community, and support they continue to get as they continue to raise funds for our local hospital. 

A COVID-19 response campaign was launched in March to help raise funds for the COVID-19 Assessment Centre and Headwaters Health Care Centre. When Ontario’s state of emergency was declared on March 17, additional safety measures were implemented at the facility to ensure the well-being of patients and staff alike. 

Long-time Headwaters supporter Anne Livingston has matched all donations made to the COVID-19 Response campaign up to $40,000. Within only one week, their target goal of $40,000 was reached and, overall, the Foundation managed to raise $91,780.

Shortly after that challenge, Nobis Canada, a luxury outwears retail company, offered to match donations during a one-week challenge, up to $20,000. The challenge ran from April 3 to April 10 and raised just under $55,000. 

“On a good day, philanthropy plays a critical role in supporting Headwaters, but the role of philanthropy and fundraising is even more critical right now. 2020 has been challenging for us so far and COVID-19 has already had a huge impact on our planned fundraising activities,” said Dora Boylen-Pabst, CEO of HHCF.

The Foundation is currently running its third matching gift program to raise funds for the hospital. The new initiative began on April 13 and will go until May 1. TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley, along with the Humeniuk Foundation have offered to match the community’s donations up to a whopping $50,000. 

Headwaters has also received a series of gifts that have helped to plug the gaps at our local medical centre. The money will go towards supporting a variety of equipment purchases required during this time, such as ventilators, sterile storage systems, specialty pumps for the ICU and beds and stretchers. 

Ms. Boylen-Pabst says the work the Foundation does to raise funds for the local hospital is more important now than ever before. She went on record to commend all frontline workers pushing through during this pandemic, and extended her thanks to all those who have assisted in various Foundation campaigns over the past month. 

“We are so proud of our nurses, doctors, frontline staff, environmental services, assessment centre volunteers and countless others who care for our community, and we cannot be more proud of our Dufferin and Caledon residents and businesses who have come together during this difficult time,” she said.

She added, “Since March 24th the Foundation has been able to raise just shy of $675,000 to support our COVID-19 response and (address) other urgent needs at hospital, in the emergency department, inpatient units and laboratory for example. Many of these needs are above and beyond the equipment and infrastructure the Foundation usually funds, and our annual list has over $2.6 million of new and replacement priority equipment needs to fundraise for, including some substantial needs for obstetrics and diagnostic imaging to meet our growing patient volumes.”

The months May to June is typically regarding as ‘Event Season’ for those at the foundation, with various fundraisers scheduled to raise funds for the local hospital. This year, due to the global pandemic many events have had to be re-scheduled. Boylen-Pabst is concerned the Foundation may not be in a position to meet its fundraising target this year. The hospital gala has simply been postponed, not cancelled, which is a huge event for the Foundation, raising roughly over $300,000 each year. 

“The Headwaters Golf Classic has been re-scheduled from July 7 to September 29. The Headwaters Gala has been re-scheduled from May 2 to October 17. Tour de Headwaters is still scheduled for September 19. To put this into perspective our Signature Events make up 25 percent of the Foundation’s total gross revenue. We are hopeful our events can move ahead in the Fall, but if they can’t, the pressure to replace this important funding source will be magnified,” said Ms. Boylen-Pabst. 

Community-led events that are planned in these months have also had to be either postponed or cancelled. These community events make up roughly $350,000 for the Foundation each year. 

The team at Headwaters Foundation asks that those who wish to help during this time, reach out to the COVID-19 Response Fund to help support needs that are not government funded at 

“There is no doubt this is an exceptionally challenging time for us. Our staff and physicians are doing a tremendous job. We are working together to do everything we can to keep our patients and staff safe. The response from the community during this time has been tremendous and we have seen an outpouring of support of donations of personal protective equipment, food for our staff and donations to our Hospital Foundation for priority equipment,” said Kim Delahunt, President and CEO of Headwaters Health Care Centre. “Our message remains strong that people follow the guidelines issued by public health. Please stay home, practice physical distancing when outside and wash your hands. Flattening the curve relies on each of us doing our part.”

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