Southern B.C. Interior rallies behind JoeAnna’s House

Day of Giving donations exceed $355,000

It was a day that all 750,000 residents of the Southern B.C. Interior can be proud of.

The KGH Foundation’s second annual Day of Giving fundraiser was held on Thursday, as donations poured in to support JoeAnna’s House, to be a home away from home for families from outside the Central Okanagan who must travel to Kelowna General Hospital for advanced medical care.

With all the loonies and toonies now counted and then matched by one very generous donor, the Better Together campaign to build and operate JoeAnna’s House is $355,456 closer to reaching its $8 million goal.

Andrew Hughes, chief KGH administrator, speaks with 1130 News radio host Phil Johnson. Photo: Contributed/KGH Foundation

“It’s absolutely incredible,” noted an emotional Doug Rankmore, CEO of the KGH Foundation.

“We knew that people would get behind this project but raising this amount is just astonishing. This community should be very proud of what they’ve accomplished.”

Between local businesses, KGH staff, doctors, nurses and commuters, people walking in, calling, texting and donating online, $177,728 was collected by KGH Foundation staff and volunteers over a 12-hour period.

This year, the one-day fundraising effort was further amplified by the generosity of Al Hildebrandt, president of the Kelowna Foundation for Hope and Social Innovation, who matched every gift made on the Day of Giving dollar for dollar, bringing the final total raised to $355,456.

Peachland Rotary Club makes a donation. Photo: Contributed/KGH Foundation

“What a thrill this has been,” remarked Hildebrandt, the former CEO of QHR Technologies as he watched the donations roll in at KGH.

“I am humbled by the generosity of folks and what I have witnessed here today.”

The success of the Day of Giving was significantly buoyed by the support of Day of Giving lead partner, Bell Media. Starting at 6 a.m. with early morning show host Phil Johnson, all the Bell station radio personalities broadcast from the hospital throughout Thursday, telling stories and bringing people closer to what was happening at KGH.

“Bell’s contribution to Day of Giving is invaluable,” said Shauna Nyrose, communications director of the KGH Foundation.

“Sharing stories and connecting people to this cause is pivotal. And they really delivered.”

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