Thursday , 21 October 2021

Hearts for Hospital gala to celebrate 10 years

Last year’s Hearts for Healthcare hospital gala event.

One of Cold Lake’s biggest fundraising events is upcoming this spring.

The 10th annual Hearts for Hospital gala is May 4 and tickets are now on sale.

“It’s a big event for us. It’s the main fundraiser for Hearts for Healthcare, so it’s very important. We’ve had really great support from companies in the Cold Lake and Lakeland area,” said organizer Jacki Cook for Hearts for Healthcare.

Hearts for Healthcare, the namesake organization, offers incentive programs to recruit and retain doctors and get much-needed medical equipment to Cold Lake.

One way they do this is with interest-free loans.

“Even though we all get healthcare, we don’t always get everything we need, so that’s why we need to fundraise because there’s just not the money for our community.

“From bringing in new doctors, getting new equipment for the hospital – and not just the hospital but the healthcare unit and the PCN. We try and help lots of different areas, it’s not just the hospital,” said Jacki Cook.

The 10th anniversary event will see some special features.

They will present a list of the items they’ve fundraised for over the last 10 years and look to top the $2 million mark combined since 2009.

“We’ve got a hope of raising $200,000 this year and I know that even half of that would put us over a $2 million raise for our 10th year gala. That is our biggest goal is to get over that $2 million mark and that will be amazing,” said Theresa Nickel.

The dinner is catered by Joly’s Fine Cuisine and followed by their usual silent auction, a live auction with trips and experiences, presentations on Healthcare professional of the year, healthcare excellence, and nurse of the year, and live music.

“Once the live auction is done and we’ve raised our right amount of money we’re so excited to raise this year, then we’re going to have this amazing band called Ten Souljers. They’ve been here and they’re an amazing entertaining band,” said Cook.

Right now, the organization is determining what will be fundraised for.

“We get the hospital manager to go through all the departments and get a priority and needs list. She puts in the priority, gives us the value of the equipment, and what it does and how many people it serves in the community,” said Nickel.

M.D. lends support

At last Wednesday’s meeting, M.D. council agreed to extend a $150,000 interest-free loan contribution to the Cold Lake Hearts For Healthcare Doctor Recruitment Program.

This matches what the municipality provides to the Bonnyville Health Foundation for doctor recruitment.

“What we’ve gone and done is put across $150,000 that can be used for that purpose, so new doctors who come to the area could apply to that loan,” said Reeve Greg Sawchuk.

“This would help them out with starting up a practice or buying a home…so for Cold Lake there was nothing in place from the M.D.”


About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.