The Chatham-Kent community has proven that the spirit of giving is alive and well during the holiday season by helping the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation (CKHAF) raise more than double its goal for the 31st Annual Christmas Wish Tree campaign.
The Foundation blew past its initial $100,000 goal by raising a total of $206,644.
The campaign will officially come to a close on January 31.
“I am constantly in awe of the kindness and generosity of the Chatham-Kent community and the commitment shown to our hospital,” stated Mary Lou Crowley, the President and CEO of CKHAF, in a media release.
“Our community members consistently show compassion through their willingness to give and support the highest quality health care possible.”
The annual Christmas Wish Tree campaign provides the community with a way to publicly celebrate or remember a family member, friend, colleague, or business by making a donation in their honour.
For each donation, a light is added to the Christmas Wish Tree in recognition.
All proceeds raised during this year’s campaign will go towards a new Urodynamics Machine for Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s Chatham site and a new Bladder Scanner for the Wallaceburg site.
The two pieces of equipment are among the remaining items needed to complete the hospital’s Urology unit.
Throughout the campaign, the names of those being honoured were published weekly in local newspapers and all of those names will be published once again in a combined list next week.
For the first time in the history of the Christmas Wish Tree campaign, the two tree lighting ceremonies were broadcast live across Chatham-Kent on YourTV (Cable 11/HD Cable 700/Cable 6 in Wallaceburg) and live-streamed on Facebook on December 16th and 17th.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges, it presented an exciting opportunity for us to host our first-ever live broadcast of the tree lighting ceremonies at the CHKA’s hospital sites in Wallaceburg and Chatham,” stated Greg Hetherington, CKHAF Board Chair, in a press release.
“We were able to reach a wider audience than ever before. It created an opportunity for everyone to see us light up our Christmas Wish Trees and celebrate the lives of our loved ones.”
A new element of tradition for the tree lighting ceremonies was also introduced this year.
Four members of the Foundation community who passed away during the past year were recognized during both ceremonies with the lightning of four purple lights.
Those honoured by the Foundation include Dr. John Button, Joan Dale, Molly Oliver, and John Thompson.
The success of this year’s campaign can be vastly attributed to the generosity of retired local business owners Bob & Robin Hockney, who helped inspire the community to give back to local health care.
The pair, who have lived in Chatham-Kent for 31 years, offered to match every donation received in November up to $25,000.
After the community met that challenge, the couple went even further to see if Chatham-Kent could match an additional $25,000 on Giving Tuesday.
In 24 hours, the Chatham-Kent residents exceeded that goal by raising $27,978 for the campaign.
The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation would like to thank our generous community sponsors who helped to make the Christmas Wish Tree campaign a success.
Those partners include Presenting Sponsor Karen Ewald at RBC Wealth Management Dominion Securities, Western Equipment Limited, long-time supporter Maple City Business Solutions, National Bank Financial JMRD Watson Wealth Management Team, and TekSavvy Solutions.
For more information about Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation, visit ckhaf.ca or call the Foundation office at 519-436-2538.