With time to spare.
The Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation announced Wednesday it has completed its fundraising goal a year ahead of time to equip the top two floors of the Polson Tower.
Launched in November 2013, the aim of the Building A Tower of Care Campaign Phase II was to raise $2.5 million by mid-2016.
On Wednesday, foundation president Elise Allan announced that nearly $2.6 million had been raised.
“Thanks to the amazing generosity of the North Okanagan community and beyond, I’m thrilled to say we have completed the campaign,” said Allan.
“We could not have done it without the amazing support of the donors in the North Okanagan including all numbers of individuals, group donors, corporate and business donors and our event sponsors.
“There are far too many to announce today, it would take me hours.”
Allan did single out major campaign sponsors including Tim Hortons, Silver Star Mountain Resort, Subway, the RBC Foundation, Nixon-Wenger, the Okanagan Landing Volunteer Fire Department, Ford Family Foundation, Armstrong Spallumcheen Health Care Auxiliary, VJH Auxiliary, Telus, Wayside and Predator Ridge Resort.
Allan also thanked the foundation’s staff, campaign team and board of directors for their tireless efforts in raising the funds.
“I think the reason the campaign went so quickly was we had a great campaign team but I think the community knew it was time for some new beds in our hospital,” said Sue Beaudry, the foundation’s director of development.
“And having seen how beautiful the first five floors were, and how old the existing building was, the community decided it was time to finish this job. We had wonderful support.”
The sixth floor of the tower will be named for the Kiwanis Club of Vernon Four Seasons, who donated $250,000 to the campaign Wednesday.
“Our main focus is on children and, of course, children are in the hospital right after birth, but we wanted to do something locally to leave a legacy of Kiwanis in Vernon,” said Cindy Krusel of the Kiwanis Club of Vernon Four Seasons, which celebrated its 25th anniversary on Saturday (Kiwanis has been in Vernon for 65 years).
Also boosting the campaign was a $110,000 from the Armstrong Spallumcheen Health Care Society, proceeds from sales at The Bargain Bin thrift store in Armstrong, and a $25,000 donation from Vernon law firm Nixon Wenger.
More than $528,000 was raised at the annual Foundation Charity Classic golf tournament, sponsored by Predator Ridge and Telus.
“It is also important to acknowledge that a significant number of campaign contributions were less than $500,” said campaign co-chairperson, Dr. Chris Cunningham.
“Every donation made an impact in helping us achieve our mission to support health care in the North Okanagan.”
Construction on the two floors is anticipated to be completed by Halloween, then, from November to January, equipment will be installed and staff will receive training on new procedures and equipment usage.
In-patients on the second and third floors will be moved onto the new floors at the end of January, with direction admission to the sixth and seventh floors scheduled to take place at the beginning of February.