The Moose Jaw Health Foundation (MJHF) brightened the lobby of the Dr. F.H. Wigmore Regional Hospital for yet another December, lighting up the giant 'Rockefeller' Christmas tree on Dec. 5 thanks to a $26,000 sponsorship from Charles Vanden Broek and Carolyn McDonald of Murray GM.
"The tree is, once again, sponsored by Charles Vanden Broek and Carolyn McDonald with Murray GM, and we want to thank them so much," said MJHF executive director Kelly McElree after turning on the lights. "The tree has raised over $166,000 for the hospital. It first came here 9 years ago.
"It means so much to the patients and families. Oftentimes, when people come to the hospital, it's during a difficult time, and especially if it's over the holidays, that can be extra difficult. So, when they see the Christmas tree — and it's really the community's tree — it brings a sense of hope and happiness to them and brings back Christmas memories. And many staff and families come here every year to take photos with the tree."
The tree is designed after the famous New York City Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza, and is 18 feet high, 8 feet wide at the base, and is lit by nearly 3,000 LED lights.
The tree sponsorship is bid on as part of the annual MJHF Festival of Trees, which was held on Oct. 21 this year and raised over $237,000 toward diagnostic and surgical equipment for the hospital.
"I love Christmas trees, I have since I was a child," said Cameron Howe. Howe is a board member with the MJHF and co-hosted the 2023 Festival of Trees with his daughter, Dr. Caitlyn Howe, who works at the Dr. F.H. Wigmore hospital.
"People don't come to the hospital unless they're either sick or they're visiting somebody that's sick, or they're here for a medical procedure. To me, (the tree) makes me feel warm, it makes me feel a little bit of happiness, and you know what, if we can give a little bit of happiness to the community that are unfortunately having to come here, then that's good. And big thanks to Charles and Carolyn, again."
McElree and Howe were joined for the occasion by Tracy McDowell from the x-ray/diagnostic imaging department; Katie Flegel, manager of medical imaging; Bobbi Goodison, working supervisor in x-ray; Glenda Bailey, diagnostic imaging and x-ray porter; Brenda Bumphrey, RN; and Monica Reich, diagnostic imaging porter.
Staff and patients in the diagnostic imaging department will benefit from the purchase this year of an MRI coil specifically for breast cancer, funded by MJHF events.
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