Although it launched less than four months ago, representatives are pleased with the progress of the ‘St. Martha’s and you: The time is NOW…’ campaign, which aims to increase its endowment fund to $20 million by 2026.
“We are really pleased with the campaign to date; obviously, the Christmas break causes a pause and now people are back to work and back to the day-to-day,” St. Martha’s Regional Hospital Foundation chair Joe MacDonald said in a Jan. 10 conversation with the Casket.
“We have not lost any of our own momentum, as a campaign team. We have a leadership meeting tomorrow (Jan. 11) to discuss all three areas; the corporate, the family and the community.
“So far, in many ways, we still feel we are at the early stages of the campaign. It is a 10-year target and we are only – Sept. 21 we had the launch – a few months in, so we hope this winter, from now until March through all the way until probably May-June, we will put a major push on – in all three areas,” he added.
MacDonald was asked about the initial public response, not particularly monetarily, but in general, to the campaign.
“The reception has been very positive, at all levels,” he said, reiterating “it is only early.”
“We are, probably, only about 20 per cent into the corporate and about 20 per cent into the community and about 20 per cent into the family, actually, when you look at the numbers of those who have contributed, so far, and pledged.
“So, we feel very good about it and where we are, relative to where our target is set. We feel very good and the response has been very positive. We feel really confident,” MacDonald added.
He noted those involved with the campaign “feel so invigorated by the positive response that we have had.”
“And, we will carry that momentum through to our continued work on the campaign, so that’s a real energy boost for us all,” MacDonald said.
Shot in the arm
One of the early shots in the arm for the campaign came from the Municipality of the County of Antigonish, which has committed $500,000 to the initiative over a 10-year period.
Warden Russell Boucher and councillors turned over a ceremonial cheque, Jan. 10, to make it official. The presentation took place in a CT scan room at the hospital, one of the many areas that will benefit from the campaign.
“We are very pleased that we are able to do this contribution to the campaign. We recognize its importance and the fact that we would like to have the best services possible in our area and, therefore, the foundation money is going to help to achieve this goal, and that the services for the Quad Counties will be exceptional and continue to be so,” Boucher said.
He noted, with the new equipment the campaign will help purchase, it will also help attract physicians and others in the healthcare field to St. Martha’s.
Boucher agreed this is a municipal contribution that will affect all residents.
“Sooner or later, every family member ends up being in the need of special services, and those services, hopefully, will continue to be provided by St. Martha’s,” he said.
MacDonald described the county’s contribution as a “significant donation.”
“When you make a commitment of that volume, over the 10-year period, it will help us, in fact, reach that target that we have of $20 million, by 2026,” he said.
“The momentum that it will generate will be significant; we feel very good about it and we are most appreciative of the leadership of the county, in terms of stepping up and making this kind of commitment to a very important campaign, such as this, for our hospital.”
During county council’s monthly meeting in November, campaign chair Steve Smith outlined the initiative, including making a request to the municipality for a $500,000 contribution over a 10-year period.
Campaign representatives have also made a pitch to elected officials with the Town of Antigonish, which has said they will make a decision regarding its contribution during their upcoming budget deliberations, and the Town of Port Hawkesbury.
“We are also planning to make presentations to Guysborough and other municipalities – any area where the catchment area, if you will, of what used to be the Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority (GASHA) – the former district health authority,” MacDonald said, noting GASHA included Antigonish, Guysborough, Inverness and Richmond counties.
“We still serve that area so; therefore, we will be hoping that all will take into consideration the opportunity, from a municipal perspective, to support our campaign.”
To learn more about the campaign, or to make a donation, contact the foundation office at 902-863-1131 during business hours, or Joe MacDonald, chair of the foundation board, at [email protected]
For more information about the ‘St. Martha’s and you: The time is NOW…’ campaign, contact Smith at 902-863-7944 or [email protected]