By Mike Williscraft
What certainly has been a marathon for many in Niagara West, the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital rebuild project may just be nearing the homestretch.
With the construction of the new hospital out for tender currently and planned work to start next May, one of the last hurdles in the community’s control revolves around fundraising.
Yesterday (Wednesday), the Take It To The Finish fundraising campaign officially entered the public phase of its program after completing the “quiet phase”, said campaign chair Andrew Smith.
“We’ve raised about $6.3 million of our $7.5 million goal in the quiet phase, which is comprised of leadership gifts in excess of $100,000. That response is outstanding, but we still have a lot of work to do,” said Smith.
The official launch of the public phase was hosted on a Zoom call on Wednesday afternoon, complete with an update on the RFP/new build process.
“There will be more to come as we reach out to the community but, so far, the response has been tremendous,” noted Smith.
“We’ve achieved 85 per cent of our target and we hope to get to our ultimate goal sooner than later.”
This next phase, he added, will be when the community sees more events and activities surrounding the fundraising program.
“We’ve had great support to date from businesses and leaders in community which has been amazing. We want to continue to build on that,” said Smith.
“In the end, including the funds raised years ago, we will have raised $18 million total from community itself – not counting any commitments from any level of government. That is a fantastic contribution from a community of our size.”
“Now, the community wants to be involved and we’re looking forward to it.”