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Hospital Foundation gala exceeds expectations

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Guests at the Portage District General Hospital Foundation’s 13th Annual Gala Dinner were in a giving mood last Friday, helping to surpass the $60,000 goal the foundation had set out to go to a new portable ultrasound machine.

“I think it’s a reachable goal because it’s such a valued piece of equipment and its something that we definitely need,” said Erin Miller, executive director of the foundation.

While final numbers were not in before The Graphic’s press time, Miller said “not only did we meet the $60,000 goal, but in fact we exceeded it.”

The sold-out event saw 240 people come out to the event which had a complimentary wine tasting, door prizes, silent auction, rainbow auction and a live auction with Dave Rogers.

Last year, the foundation raised $28,000 just in the live auction, for a total of $46,000 raised at the event. Miller said she knew raising the $60,000 goal was a challenge, but was confident it would be met.

“We know that we have raised the bar another $12,000, but we know that the people in our community support the Portage Hospital Foundation and it’s going to a great cause and everyone’s here to have a great time.”

Jim Ross, a surgeon at the hospital, said the hospital relies on the foundation for a lot of equipment and that its a common misconception that the government funds everything.

“Many times people think Manitoba Health, the government funds everything at a hospital, they actual only fund roughly 70 to 75 per cent of the cost, so we would be without a lot of valuable equipment and other things if we didn’t have the foundation or the people supporting us,” said Ross. “That’s really the fundamental reason why its so important to have events like this or throughout the year, people support the hospital, because we would not have a lot of the equipment we find essential right now without them.”

Jim Price, director of emergency and ICU, said the hospital relies on the foundation for special items.

“They’ve been really generous in the past, and they already bought us an ultrasound machine which we use, but it’s used so heavily now we’re actually fighting for this ultrasound machine everyday, and they offered to buy us another machine,” Price said.

“The community’s given fantastic support of the hospital foundation and we’ve relied on them for years for some really very big items for care in the hospital, not just for the emergency department, but for the whole hospital.”

Miller mentioned the success of the event could not have been done without all the different hands pitching in.

“It’s a collaborative effort from everybody in our community to make this happen.If we didn’t have our many volunteers, the people that donate things to our prizes, the auctioneer, the fantastic food, people giving up their quality time to come, it would not be a success. I truly cannot thank people enough for supporting the Portage Hospital Foundation.”

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