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27th Annual Foundation Friday BBQ

It’s Foundation Friday in Portage la Prairie, and the Portage District General Hospital Foundation held their annual barbecue again.

Executive director Erin Miller notes all the details.

“Today is our 27th annual Foundation Friday barbecue. We are celebrating it — always have — the last Friday of May. Unfortunately the weather doesn’t seem to want to cooperate with us most years. The rain is kind of holding off. So, we’re serving hamburgers, hotdogs, salads, and deserts. We have the Sharpe Sisters performing here. It’s just a really, really great day supporting the Hospital Foundation.”

She notes a lot of people attended.

“They’re hoping to serve a thousand people. The tent looks really full. But it’s always hard to say til the end of the day, though — how many people actually came through.”

“This is unreal. People support the Portage District General Hospital Foundation in numerous events. We have about 75 volunteers here today. We have people that come year to year to this event. We have a great silent auction where all the prizes were donated. And we have our supporters that continue to come, rain, shine, what have you. So, it’s an excellent community event, and we’re so grateful for everyone in our community.”

Miller explains how the moneys that’s raised is spent.

“We do a lot of things with the money that the Hospital Foundation raises. So, we buy equipment that’s not funded by the regular government spending. Things to make services more available and have people able to stay closer to home for their services.”

Chief executive officer of Southern Health-Santé Sud Kathy McPhail says she’s amazed at the crowd today, and explains how important the fundraiser is.

“As people know the public money that’s in health and in the public coffers isn’t enough to cover everything. And Foundation are always out there and true friends of the health system in raising money for some of those things that we just can’t — maybe in a timely manner — achieve to acquire. So, often it’s equipment. But sometimes it’s other things, like even some staffing positions.”

Looking at the amount of people who arrived, McPhail adds, “I know that Erin does a lot of leg work and ground work, and the other members of the foundation to make sure that people know about this event. And she’s reached out to many of the surrounding communities. I see people from all around the area. So, that’s wonderful

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