(Perth, Ont.) There were cheers in five separate locations around the Ottawa Valley last Thursday night (October 15th) as the second Lake 88 Radiothon ended with more than $98,000 dollars raised for local hospitals in communities throughout the radio station’s coverage area. That total rose to $102,767 on Monday as even more donations came in from local businesses and residents.
Instead of gathering in one common call centre as last year, COVID-19 meant that the event was run at the four ‘distanced’ hospital foundation offices in Almonte, Carleton Place, Perth and Smiths Falls and connected to the station online and by phone.
The 12-hour on-air fundraiser ran from 6 am until 6 pm and featured interviews with dozens of healthcare professionals, doctors, nurses and administrators, along with patients and volunteers from the four partner hospital foundations.
Brian Perkin, who owns Lake 88 with his wife Jennifer, stated, “The pandemic forced us to develop some pretty unique ways of getting everyone on the air from each of the foundation offices using ‘Zoom’ and the phone lines. We also ‘distanced’ our staff at the station by creating separate little studio areas. But it all worked very well. Everyone was scattered throughout Lanark County, but they all manned the donation lines, shared the information, got folks on the air and kept it going.”
“Our goal was to raise awareness of the work our local hospitals do in providing great healthcare in our smaller towns and rural areas. We also wanted to highlight the fact that hospitals don’t get provincial funding to cover all the costs of medical equipment. That help only comes through local donations. ”
Perkin explained that the list of needs is long and varied, and includes items as expensive as a CT scanner for the Almonte General Hospital/Fairview Manor Foundation ($2.2 million). The Perth Great War Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Smiths Falls Community Hospital Foundation are looking to fund an electrocardiogram (ECG) to test heart rhythm ($26,000), an obstetrical bed ($21,757), a fetal heart monitor ($36,382) and bedside monitors for Perth and Smiths Falls emergency rooms ($105,752), among other items. The Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital Foundation is undertaking a $3 million Comprehensive Campaign for their new emergency department wing.
Organizers thank listeners, residents and the numerous local businesses and sponsors throughout the area who made donations ranging from $10 to thousands of dollars, many in memory of loved ones. The Radiothon also received a $4,000 donation from the Land O’ Lakes Tunis Shriners, a $5,000 donation from St. Francis Masonic Lodge 24 in Smiths Falls, and $3,200 from 8-year-old Kayla Hasan of Almonte who raised the money by making and selling COVID-19 masks.
Perkin added, “It was very gratifying to top the $100,000 mark in donations again. It went beyond what we imagined we might collect during the pandemic. It’s humbling and also encouraging to see our local communities provide such generous support. It’s a tremendous investment in our local hospitals – one that benefits us all.”
For more information, contact the following Radiothon Partners:
Almonte General Hospital/Fairview Manor Foundation – Al Roberts: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital Foundation – Robyn Arseneau: email@example.com
Perth Great War Memorial Hospital Foundation – Margo Hallam: firstname.lastname@example.org
Smiths Falls Community Hospital Foundation – Lise Smith: email@example.com
Lake 88.1 Radio – Brian Perkin (613) 264-8811 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org