While the pandemic may have prevented the gathering of community leaders, hospital staff, doctors, business owners and philanthropists for the Pembroke Regional Hospital Foundation’s annual Black & White Gala, once again the Un-Gala@Home, a unique and innovative alternative to the annual fundraiser didn’t disappoint, raising more than $204,000 on October 16th for the Foundation’s Cancer Care Campaign.
PRHF Executive Director Roger Martin says, “We took what we learned about this new event last year and made a couple of small changes which led us into the most successful event of its kind here in the valley, raising $50,000 more than the 2020 edition of the Un-Gala@Home.”
“One thing we continue to learn is that we can still get together in small groups and have a huge impact as shown by the more than 300 proud donors who raised more than $204,000 for the Cancer Care Campaign,” Mr. Martin said. “We can still celebrate in our own homes, enjoy an amazing dinner and entertainment, and most importantly, still support the Pembroke Regional Hospital in its efforts to ensure they have the equipment they need.”
Over 300 guests purchased tickets for this year’s Un-Gala@Home, creating their own “at home” experience and enjoying a divine four-course meal prepared by Ullrich’s on Main, baguette from Loaf Artisan Bakery, dessert from 2 Tarts & A Truffle, coffee from Madawaska Coffee Co. and beautiful flowers from Astrid’s Floral Boutique, all delivered by Valley Eats. The meal was accompanied by a pre-recorded YouTube video created by Jake Neville’s “The Vive” which brought the Un-Gala experience to life by capturing special remarks and entertainment.
In his video message, PRH President and CEO Pierre Noel spoke of the shared pandemic experience of the past 20 months and acknowledged the incredible work of the hospital team to keep everyone safe while serving as the region’s designated facility for COVID admissions and operating a mass vaccination clinic at the Pembroke Memorial Centre on behalf of the Renfrew County and District Health Unit. He also expressed his gratitude for the ongoing support of the hospital by those in the community.
Thrilled with the fundraiser’s outcome, Mr. Noel said his team is looking forward to commencement of the planned upgrades in the hospital’s cancer care areas which will get underway in 2022. “I am personally grateful to all who took part in the Un-Gala@Home and the organizing committee – the funds raised have put us substantially closer to achieving our campaign goal.”
Un-Gala@Home Committee Chair Laura Carroll directed her gratitude to those who participated in or supported the event. “Whether your donation has been financial, in-kind, or your personal time – each and every one of you has embraced the responsibility of taking care of one another. We
are so fortunate to feel the compassion of the great champions of our community here tonight, so thank you.”
Along with the night’s memorable video addresses, written words of congratulations were shared including a letter from Governor General Mary May Simon. “The pandemic may have altered how we celebrate together, but it has not diminished our passion for supporting worthy causes such as the Cancer Care Campaign.” A letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was also shared which read, in part, “It continues to be a challenging time for planning and hosting events. That is why I would like to thank the dedicated organizers for ensuring this year’s fundraiser could still take place. You can take pride in your commitment to the health and well-being of your fellow citizens.”
Being a unique year, recorded videos from Petawawa Mayor Bob Sweet, Pembroke Mayor Michael Lemay and Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford were also included as they delivered their messages of support for the Un-Gala@Home, our health care professionals and our community’s essential workers.
Pembroke Regional Hospital Foundation Board Chair Lisa Edmonds echoed the many positive remarks made by our dignitaries and went on to say, “Wow! What an amazing success story! As Chair of our Foundation, Thank You to our community for supporting our Un-Gala@Home. We are inspired by your kind generosity. It means so much to us as a Committee. I would also like to personally thank each of our Committee Members who volunteered their time and energy. We could not have done this without you!”
“With Laura Carroll’s leadership and many hours of hard work, our Committee, together with our community, raised some serious money for our Cancer Care Campaign. Way to Go! Your passion and enthusiasm is irresistible. It was a pleasure to experience true teamwork and volunteerism with you,” Ms. Edmonds said.
Major sponsors of this year’s event included Frank Carroll Financial, Ray and Barb Pilon of Canadian Tire Pembroke and the Pembroke Radiologist Group.
Donations to the PRH Foundation are welcome at any time by calling (613) 732-2811, extension 7408 or visiting the PRHF website at www.prhfoundation.com.