A million down, a million-and-a-half still to go.

Recently, the Northwest Community Lodge Association (NCLA) received a $50,000 donation from the Meadow Lake Hospital Foundation, a significant shot in the arm which has put the NCLA’s efforts to raise money for furniture, fixtures and equipment at Meadow Lake’s new long-term care facility above the $1-million mark.

“Anthony Vandenberg (Hospital Foundation president) contacted us last week and told us they had set aside $50,000 for our fundraising efforts – we were very happy about that,” remarked Crystal Murray, NCLA vice-president. “It took us over the $1-million mark, which we were striving to get to for quite some time. Now we only have $1.7-million to go.”

The NCLA’s goal is to raise $2.7-million for the new facility.

“We didn’t know at the time we made the donation it would put them over the $1-million mark,” Vandenberg stated. “However, it’s a great milestone they have achieved.”

Vandenberg went on to say it’s been the foundation’s desire to donate to the project for some time.

“We donated $25,000 in 2017, but the recent donation of $50,000 was three years in the making and came from the generous donations that have been made to us and our commitment to the hospital,” he said. “We’ve been able to find a little extra here and there, as well as through fundraising, to put toward this goal.”

Meanwhile, fundraising efforts continue on the NCLA’s part.

“We’re really trying to find new ways to raise the funds we need,” Murray said. “We have started our 72-suite challenge where individuals can donate $12,000 per suite. If we sell all 72 suites, it would bring us approximately $800,000.”

Murray also said she is uncertain what will happen if the NCLA is unable to reach its goal before the new facility is completed.

“The Saskatchewan Health Authority has not given us any direction as to what would happen if we don’t raise enough money, but we’re also looking at holding a raffle this spring in conjunction with some of the businesses in town, and we still have our house project at 20 Gibson Crescent,” she added. “The house should be completed by late April or early May.”

In December and again in February, the NCLA also held a 50/50 draw. The December draw saw both Rochelle Schiele and the NCLA collect $10,930, while the February draw resulted in Debbie Koch and the association both receiving $7,950.

“We’ve partnered with a company of Regina,” Murray said. “They set up the website for us… it runs 24/7, and people can purchase 50/50 tickets online. For those who don’t have access to the Internet, for February we started to offer Friday night ticket sales at the Legion from 5 to 8 p.m. We are extremely thankful to everybody who has come forward to support our fundraising efforts. Any money is money we need, and any amount someone can donate is greatly appreciated. Every dollar counts toward our goal.”

by Phil Ambroziak