Tree of Lights cam­paign marks 25 years

Dou­glas Me­mo­rial Aux­il­iary work­ing to raise $140,000 for new ul­tra­sound

The Niagara Falls Review - - Local - MIKE ZETTEL

It’s go­ing to be more than a few cups of cof­fee, but they’ll get the job done. They al­ways do.

The Dou­glas Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal Aux­il­iary has launched its an­nual Tree of Lights cam­paign, which for the past quar­ter-cen­tury has sup­ported the group’s com­mit­ment to pur­chas­ing cru­cial equip­ment for the hos­pi­tal.

Cam­paign con­vener He­len Eg­gle­ton said this year it is work­ing to­ward the $140,000 the aux­il­iary pledged to­ward the hos­pi­tal’s new ul­tra­sound equip­ment, which it hopes to raise within four years.

It’s an am­bi­tious goal, con­sid­er­ing the piece-by-piece man­ner by which the aux­il­iary raises its funds. Near the front lobby of the hos­pi­tal, the aux­il­iary op­er­ates its tuck shop sell­ing small gift items, snacks and bev­er­ages.

“That’s a lot of cups of cof­fee,” Eg­gle­ton said.

As the hos­pi­tal no longer has a cafe­te­ria, the Tuck Shop has picked up some of the slack, of­fer­ing break­fast, soups and sand­wiches, and on Mon­days from Novem­ber un­til the warmer weather ar­rives in April chili and toast.

Eg­gle­ton said the lat­ter is highly an­tic­i­pated.

“They’ve been scream­ing at us for the chili,” she said. “They love the chili and toast.”

But the Tree of Life cam­paign, now in its 25th year, is the group’s ma­jor fundraiser.

“The Tree of Lights is an in­vi­ta­tion to the pub­lic to help us out with the ul­tra­sound,” Eg­gle­ton said.

Its suc­cess ul­ti­mately de­ter­mines whether the aux­il­iary can make its fouryear com­mit­ment.

“We’re hop­ing to do it in less than that,” she said. “And we think we can.”

Car­rie Zef­firo, direc­tor of de­vel­op­ment for Ni­a­gara Health Foun­da­tion, which over­sees equip­ment fundrais­ing for the en­tire hos­pi­tal net­work, said it’s hard to over­state how im­por­tant the aux­il­iary’s ef­forts are. While health care is provin­cially funded, equip­ment is not; 100 per cent of it must be paid for through com­mu­nity fundrais­ing. Ev­ery year, the hos­pi­tal sends the foun­da­tion a list of pri­or­i­ties, and the foun­da­tion com­mu­ni­cates that to the aux­il­iaries, which fo­cus en­tirely on their lo­cal hos­pi­tal.

“We rely on the aux­il­iary, as well as our many part­ners,” Zef­firo said. “We’re very, very lucky that we have so many in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses who are all work­ing to raise funds for the hos­pi­tal, and the aux­il­iary has a long his­tory of be­ing a part of that group.”

Since 1993, the group has raised nearly $2 mil­lion to­ward pri­or­ity hos­pi­tal equip­ment.

The Tree of Lights cam­paign runs un­til Jan. 12. Do­na­tions of $10 and up are el­i­gi­ble for a char­i­ta­ble re­ceipt. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 905-378-4647.


He­len Eg­gle­ton, con­vener of Dou­glas Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal Aux­il­iary's Tree of Lights cam­paign, is help­ing spread fes­tive cheer in­side the tuck shop.

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