Dry February was a huge success for the Bonnyville Health Foundation.
Participants went alcohol-free for the month in the challenge to raise money and on March 9, the Bonnyville Health Foundation announced the fundraising total.
“We have finally tallied up our pledge numbers and I am so very excited to share with all of you that our small, but mighty, group of participants raised $10,103 for the Bonnyville Health Foundation,” Dawn Weber Executive Director said in an email to participants. “What an incredible impact you have all made to our goal to transform good healthcare to great healthcare at the Bonnyville hospital! Thank you for your participation and your efforts to raise pledges and great job on successfully taking on a health challenge for an entire month.”
Two employees from Lakeland Connect took part in the challenge. Other media personalities from the Bonnyville area also took part in the challenge. One of those personalities was Zachary Ferguson-Frick from Mylakelandnow Country 99 FM.
“Personally, the challenge went pretty well,” Ferguson-Frick said. “I don’t drink a lot as it is so to hold off for a month was not too difficult. On the fundraising side, I didn’t get as many donations as I would have liked but I am just happy to have helped a little.”
In total, the Dry February challenge had 21 registered participants, and the funds raised from this event were designated to areas of greatest need.
“They will be used for the current priorities of our local hospital,” Weber told Lakeland Connect. “Our mandate is to transform good healthcare to great healthcare and our current focuses include local Mental Health initiatives, improving the quality of seniors care, creating an inclusive healing environment regarding Indigenous Health, and developing state of the art emergency care.”
Weber says the foundation plans to host the Dry February Fundraising Challenge again in 2023.
“The Foundation’s Fundraising Committee is working on a plan for 2023 to make this a bigger event with an option to register individually or as a team with pledge raising incentives,” Weber said. “While February was a short month, it still presented a number of social challenges for participants with Super Bowl Sunday and Valentine’s Day being events commonly associated with drinking, but the feedback has been very positive that peer groups showed a lot of support for our participants.”
Hosting a Dry Month fundraising campaign has opened up conversations about its purpose, Weber added.
“Our participants enjoyed the health benefits of taking a month off from consuming alcohol, and had fun collecting pledges from their supportive peers,” Weber said. “It’s important to acknowledge that Dry month campaigns are not intended for individuals struggling with alcoholism or addiction.”
If there is someone who is struggling, please call the 24 Hour Alberta Addiction Hotline at 1-866-332-2322.