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Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Norfolk General Hospital has had its share of publicity lately and some of it dealing with the shortfall in funding from the provincial government.

This will continue to be a problem in Norfolk as this community becomes a retirement destination for people looking for a more relaxed lifestyle. An aging population does put additional demands on an already fragile situation.

That is why the Norfolk General Hospital Foundation is such an important part of the health care system in Norfolk. It is the fund-raising arm of the hospital and manages to raise significant dollars each year to maintain and upgrade the hospital’s many facilities.

The “Lend a Hand” campaign – a three year program – will have raised more than $3,000,000 by the end of this year. That has allowed the hospital to put in much needed patient lifts, digital X-ray equipment and this year the money raised will go towards revitalizing NGH’s operating rooms.

One of the foundation’s biggest fundraisers is the Norfolk General Hospital Foundation’s Golf Classic. With the generous support of this community and friends of Norfolk the Golf Classic has been able to raise over $350,000 in the past two tournaments. This year its goal is to raise another $200,000.

The tournament itself is now full but there are still ways that those in the community who want to be “Friends of Norfolk General Hospital” can help. The tournament committee is still accepting various levels of sponsorship and you can get that information by phoning the NGH Foundation office.

Another way that you can support this year’s tournament is getting involved in the Tournament’s On-line Auction. You can visit the auction by going on-line at the Norfolk General Hospital’s website and click on “foundation”. All auction items are laid out in full colour with a description of each item and directions on how you can bid.

There are hundreds of choices and some that caught my eye were: a five/seven day cruise on one of Lower Lakes freighters on the Great Lakes, box seats (16+) for a London Knights game, VIP tickets for the Canadian Open, an original watercolour by Mary Murphy, a plane ride over Norfolk and out over the Long Point peninsula and much, much more.

If you would prefer to see the items up close you can see them on display at Norfolk Golf and Country Club on July 17 and 18. Most items will be put into a silent auction at that time and a few will be designated for the live auction on Tuesday and Wednesday night. The key is to visit the auction site and it will explain fully how you can be involved until the very end.

Another way that you can be a “Friend of NGH” is by becoming an annual donor. Give the foundation office a call and see how easy it is to support our hospital.

Keith Ashley is a Simcoe resident. His column appears regularly in the Times-Reformer

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