By Mike Williscraft
It took just over a year, but the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Take It to The Finish fundraising campaign has reached its $7.5 million goal.Just over a year ago, the campaign sat at $6.3 million, but at last Tuesday’s Philanthropy Day event hosted by the Foundation at Casablanca Inn it was announced the finish line had been reached.
“It just goes to show the resilience and heart our community has,” said campaign chair Andrew Smith.
“Every dime, every hot dog, every glass of lemonade mattered to make it all happen. It was a whole community effort.”
The overall cost of the project is projected to be about $200 million.
The municipal share is about $21.65 million with Niagara Region supporting the project with $10.5 million.
Donations needed from the community are $17.85 million with about $10.4 million already in a Foundation designated capital reserve from prior campaigns. This left $7.5 million in new community fundraising as the goal.
“The results overall are astounding. The Foundation must take a bow for their leadership and every citizen has contributed to the over $30 million municipal share,” said Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton.
“We are all very proud and look forward to greater security for hospital care in West Niagara.”
The Foundation also announced that evening Tony Joosse had been awarded the Philanthropist of The Year Award.
Joosse has been a tireless worker on behalf of WLMH, noted Smith.
“Tony has been an outstanding proponent of our Hospital and key in working with stakeholders to get the project moved forward so quickly. I don’t recall any other provincial project of this size moving as quickly as the WLMH rebuild,” said Smith.
“It was a pleasure working with Tony in his role as a member of the Advisory Council for the Take It To the Finish fundraising campaign.”
For Joosse, there was no choice in the matter.
“I am very honoured to receive this award. The past four years has been a long roller coaster ride. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, the entire save and build team and our great staff. I really appreciate our MPP Sam’s (Oosterhoff) work along with the government financial support ensuring we had the funding to keep our existing programs and upgrade our OR and OBS departments, along with supporting operating costs for the CT.”