It was standing room only during the Ponoka and District Health Foundation (PDHF) open house Thursday, April 23.
The event was held at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre to generate interest in the foundation and its future plans. Organized by trustees Mark Bateman and Kelly Sperber, attendees had a chance to hear how busy the PDHF has been.
Dr. Brendan Bunting, also a trustee, said money donated to the foundation used to go into a trust in Red Deer. While the money was used only for the Ponoka hospital, it is more attractive to donors to have a foundation in Ponoka who raises and manages the funds, he explained.
“We think it’s a wonderful thing that it’s back in our community,” said Bunting.
He said the foundation’s goal now is to develop and improve its fundraising capabilities. “We’ll try to do our best to make this a viable foundation that spends money wisely.”
Not only does the money go to important life-saving equipment at the hospital, it could potentially pay for important staff training.
One big supporter emerged to the delight of the foundation last year in the form of Ponoka Festival of Trees, explained Bateman, which donated $59,500 to the PDHF.
The festival has confirmed it is fundraising for the hospital this year again.
The hospital has been able to take donated funds to purchase an important pediatric care cart for children. This cart will allow physicians and nurses to provide immediate care to children before being taken to a hospital specifically geared to children.
The importance of a local hospital cannot be underrated, according to Bateman. “Everybody at some point in time needs services at the hospital, or know someone who needs the services,” he explained.
Much of the money donated to health foundations usually comes from family members or groups who earmark it for a specific purpose. The purpose of these foundations is to continue to raise money for the hospital and to support its life-saving needs.