Weyburn and District Hospital Foundation chairperson Mal Barber brought the organization’s annual general meeting to order on Wednesday evening.
Barber began his report by stating the foundation has two purposes — to raise 20 per cent of the required funds for a new hospital and 100 per cent of the equipment it needs; and to raise awareness of the need for a new hospital for the city and area.
He added that the Government of Saskatchewan, with input from the Sun Country Health Region, will decide when the Weyburn hospital is a priority to be acted upon, what services will be offered, how big the hospital will be and where it will be built.
“We’ve reviewed it about four times a year because we want to make sure that everybody knows we raise funds,” Barber said. “We don’t have any authority to be doing anything further than that.”
The foundation met with Health minister Dustin Duncan three times in the last year, twice as a board and once with executive members.
Barber said on the last visit, Duncan was given a tour of the hospital by nurse manager Sylvia Danyluk before discussing the need for a new hospital.
The Hospital Foundation reviewed their funding status and they are prepared for a new hospital when the government is ready.
The Foundation has raised $15.5 millon in identified funds, a combination of cash and pledges from various organizations.
Barber added that there are three other hospital projects, one in Moose Jaw, one in North Battleford and another in Prince Albert. There is no list of hospitals by priority of need.
Many organizations and corporations have fundraised for the Hospital Foundation this past year.
The Rotary Club provides an annual donation. The Weyburn Red Wings auctioned off jerseys.
The entrepreneurial class from the Comprehensive High School donated 10 per cent of their profit from Kick Glass.The Prairie Sky Co-operative Association raised $69,255 through their matching donation program to date.
The Hospital Foundation board hosted two fundraising events last year, the charity golf tournament and the Valentine’s Day Gala.
The third annual golf tournament was the first one the organization hosted without golf pro Graham DeLaet. Instead, Roughrider Brendon LaBatte stepped in. The golf tournament raised a total of $225,000. The foundation plans to have LaBatte host the tournament again this year.
This past year, the Valentine’s Day Gala raised a total $5,800 by raffling off 100 roses. The foundation plans to have the gala again this year.
At the meeting were two guests, Delbert and Doris Flaten who donated a total $25,000 to the Hospital Foundation.
Delbert began by mentioning his connection with the Hospital Foundation board — that his father was on the hospital board in the early 1950s and Delbert himself was on the board in the 1970s.
“Like most families we’ve had numerous occasions to visit the hospital and we’re most thankful that it was here,” Delbert said. “On a personal note, I was very unfortunate having arriving in hospital with some very severe complications from a ruptured appendix. Without the good care I got at the hospital, there would be a pretty good chance I wouldn’t even be here.”
Delbert went on to say that there are many families like himself that have faced similar situations and are fortunate to have a hospital open 24/7.
“Until a spade is put in the sod, somewhere at some time, we have to try and keep the pressure on the powers that be and hopfully get a start on the new building,” he said.