By Kenyon Stronski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
September and October have been busy months for the Taber and District Health Foundation (TDHF); from Smile Cookie Week and McHappy Day in September to their annual fall fundraiser taking place during October. Vicki Koersen, who spoke on behalf of the TDHF, noted Smile Cookie Week went amazingly with a total of 4,987 cookies being bought — almost triple what is usually sold.
“The new thing that was interesting for the foundation this year is we were able to come in and decorate the cookies which is very new and we’ve actually never been able to do. Nineteen volunteers donated 55 hours that week to decorate cookies.
The community just really came out and supported us, and the foundation looks forward to doing that again next year. There was some talk about maybe putting us out front in the lobby, so we can interact with customers but we’ll see how COVID goes by then. I’d really like to thank the owner Corey Persson and day manager, Girlie, for letting volunteers decorate cookies at their workplace. Many thanks to everyone for buying cookies and supporting healthcare initiatives.”
Koersen indicated McHappy Day also went amazingly — with nine volunteers giving their time between the hours of 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Volunteers for both events included hospital staff, community members, TDHF board and staff and the Taber Fire Department.
“Due to COVID restrictions we were not allowed in the restaurant, so we had less volunteers, but they were no less enthusiastic — 75 per cent of the proceeds from McHappy Day come to the TDHF to be used for child healthcare initiatives while 25 per cent go to Ronald McDonald Charities in Calgary. We have been very fortunate to partner with McDonald’s and this year $12,680 was raised with $9,512.23 coming to the foundation. We are very specific on what we raise the funds for and this year it’s a pediatric crash cart to be used for pediatric emergencies. It is specific to pediatric patients, so unlike an adult crash cart, it has smaller tubing and smaller equipment for children.”
“We don’t have one here so when we get pediatric patients the hospital staff is stuck looking for equipment that will fit; now they will have everything ready to go.”
Crash carts are used when responding to medical emergencies within the hospital. They contain equipment and medications that may be needed — depending on the patient’s condition. The Taber Hospital has not had a crash cart of pediatric patient’s — which are treated differently than adults because of their size — so when it comes to emergencies involving pediatric patients, size is key. The drawers are stocked with size-appropriate equipment and medicines already prepared at appropriate doses.
October then showcased the annual fall campaign for the TDHF. In the past 25 years, the Foundation has hosted a telethon, however this year they have offered a different approach
“Unfortunately due to COVID, we couldn’t host an in-person function, so we held a smaller event — but no less impactful. Our pledge week ran from October 19 to the 22. It was well-received as we have fantastic community support. It is not the same as hosting an event, but we reached out to donors and residents to let them know where their funds had been put to use. Funds raised stay in our local area to fund equipment purchases for the Taber Health Centre and support healthcare initiatives in the local senior housing facilities.”
One such purchase has already been put to use in the operating room. Colleen Pack, an Operating Room nurse, thanked the foundation for the new drill that was purchased for orthopedic surgeries.
“Dr. Storey did two surgeries with the new drill. He liked it — The OR staff loved it. It was very slick. No more big tank and the hose taking up space. It makes our scrub table more efficient and easier to organize. The potential for new surgical procedures has also opened up thanks to this new drill.”
Donations are always accepted at the TDHF office located at the Taber Hospital or by donating through the TDHF website at www.tdhf.ca. For the month of October, donations are also accepted through the text to donate service.
Text HEALTH to 45678 to donate $10, $20 or $25.