County News

Jump start

Posted: March 17, 2017 at 9:33 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

New hospital build campaign launched by Wellington Rotary Club

The Wellington Rotary Club has changed its community. A largely overlooked and underappreciated beach in the village was transformed and made accessible to all. The Club made a big investment in the Wellington and District Community Centre to ensure that project came to fruition. The Rotary Club has invested in our kids—for books, technology, and music equipment at CML Snider School, including major support for athletic facilities as well as the reconstruction of the County’s only running track.

But the Wellington Rotary Club has never tackled a project quite like this before. Or as important. This week, the Club announced plans to spearhead fundraising for a new County hospital.

The Club hasn’t set a goal. That is because it isn’t yet a certainty this community will be approved to build a new hospital and what it would comprise. But Wellington Rotary president Mike Lattner and project lead David Smith believe it is critical to demonstrate to provincial officials that the money can be raised in this community—that this community has supported, and will always support its hospital. They figure there is no better way to demonstrate this support than to jump start the fundraising—to make a statement about the importance of the hospital in the County.

They expect the total amount needed from the community will be between $10 and 20 million. The Wellington Rotary Club hasn’t set target for the amount they hope to raise of this total.

“This is a big project for us,” acknowledged David Smith, “But we have a track record of accomplishments from the Wellington beach project, to the track at the school to our contribution to the community centre build.”

The Wellington Rotary Club decided unanimously to get behind the project.

“A project of this scale and magnitude needs a leader,” said Smith. “Why not us?”

Mike Lattner emphasized that this effort does not put the Club at odds with the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation.

“This is not a competition,” said Lattner. “We are not working at cross purposes. We intend to work side by side with the Foundation.”

He noted the sheer scale of the project requires an extraordinary push by the entire community.

They assure that all money raised in the hospital build fund will stay in this community. In the event the hospital is not built—any monies collected will be used to fund other healthcare needs in Prince Edward County.

The Wellington Rotary Club intends to lever existing fundraising activities, including the successful and lucrative bottle return depot in the village operated on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. The Club will also reach out to the broader community seeking support through a variety of events, draws and programs. Proceeds from the annual wine festival dinner—this year broadened to include beer and cider makers— are earmarked for the hospital build project.

Former mayor Leo Finnegan has been a lifelong supporter and fighter for Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital. He is past chair of the hospital foundation and currently sits as a member.

Leo Finnegan was also instrumental in the formation of the Wellington Rotary Club 15 years ago.

“They are a great club,” said Finnegan affectionately. “With just 35 members or so they make things happen up there. I’m very pleased with their success and what they have accomplished.”

All gifts or donations valued at more than $20 are eligible for a charitable tax receipt.