It was another night of fellowship in the spirit of giving back as lakecity locals of all stripes donated at the Cariboo Foundation Hospital Trust’s annual gala on Saturday, Nov. 23.
Held each year to raise money for the trust’s efforts to supply the Cariboo Memorial Hospital with a steady stream of new and advanced equipment, the gala has become an important part of the lakecity’s social fabric. In addition to providing people with a way to give back in a meaningful way to the community, it’s a great party for people to catch up and let their hair down with one another.
This year was no different as the board for the trust announced they hoped to raise $225,000 by year’s end to go towards updating various equipment for the hospital’s maternity ward. According to Tammy Tugnum, one of the driving forces on the board, they were already well on their way to this goal as the night began.
Prior to the gala, they’d received $43,050 in cash donations as well as a grant from the Woodwards Foundation for $76,000. Even considering this, it proved to be a surprising evening for both Tugnum and the rest of the board.
Most notably David Hothi of the Hothi family made a surprise donation of $25,000 in honour of his late mother who passed away this past year. Tugnum said this unexpected generosity put them at around $150,000, without counting the funds raised at the rest of the gala.
“I have not had a moment to tally up (the live auction) but everyone was extremely generous this evening,” Tugnum said. “As a longtime volunteer for this community, over 30 years, it never fails to amaze me how generous the citizens of Williams Lake are.”
Specifically, Tugnum said this year they’re looking to replace four incubators, two labour and delivery beds and a portable fetal monitor that will cost around $225,000. They will join an ultrasound unit, an echocardiogram and a CT Scanner, amongst other donations the trust has made over the years.
In 2020 Tugnum said that because of the work they’ve been doing for the hospital, the current Cariboo Foundation Hospital Trust will be forming their own trust outside of the Cariboo Foundation. They will then be known as the Cariboo Memorial Hospital Trust but will continue to do the same work they do today.
“We definitely need some more people to help us, we’re probably a core group of about five people and this is a huge undertaking. It’s great to see everybody, it’s great to have everybody come together to support our hospital and we just look forward to continuing in the future to help our hospital be the best it can be,” Tugnum said.
She concluded by saying they’re thankful for the support they receive from the community year in and out and so long as that stays true, they’ll happily continue to raise money for the hospital.