The 100 Mile and District General Hospital is about to be lit up for Christmas as the South Cariboo Health Foundation launches its seventh annual Starry Nights campaign.
A popular 100 Mile House tradition, the Starry Nights lights will switch on at the hospital on Nov. 20.
However, organizer Brenda Devine said unlike past years, they’ll be unable to have a large congregation of people at the hospital for hot chocolate and coffee.
Instead, people are asked to walk or drive-by the hospital to view the lights, which will remain lit until Jan. 31.
Devine, involved in the foundation’s public relations and fundraising, has been organizing Starry Nights for eight years now, raising money for hospital equipment. This year, rather than buy equipment, she said they’re looking to raise money to help 100 Mile House Hospice complete the construction of two new “deluxe” palliative care rooms in the hospital for patients with high-level medical needs.
“Palliative is basically end of life and it’s a very difficult time, so having nice surroundings, comfort, a little bit of home away from home (is good),” Devine said. “We’ve said we’ll try to give as much as we can (raise) maybe $25,000, or more into helping complete what they’re doing.”
While people won’t be able to gather for hot chocolate and coffee, Devine said Starry Nights will still be a beautiful start for both the holiday season and the society’s fundraising efforts. She’s hopeful that they’ll be able to raise a lot of money for Hospice this year. The hospital is a high priority for everyone in the area, she said.
The theme around Starry Nights is that when people donate more than $50, they become a health star. Donations officially open on Nov. 20 but she said people are already reaching out to donate.
Helping out the hospital is especially meaningful for Devine, after having a loved one in palliative care a few years ago. The way she and her loved one were treated really stuck with her and made her want to help the hospital any way she could.
“The ability to help raise money and see something completed (is great). When you raise money lots of places send the money out of town but we keep the money in here,” Devine said. “That’s why the health foundation was created in 2002, we didn’t want to see anything raised here to go out of this town.”
Over the years the foundation has funded projects including a BiPAP ventilator, ultrasound system, renovations to the lobby, a hematology analyzer and an upgrade to the emergency room. Over the years 100 Mile House has raised $4-million for the hospital.
Those looking to donate can do so by dropping off cheques or money at the hospital via the two reception areas. They can also mail a cheque to Bag 399, 100 Mile House B.C. V0K 2E0 or contact Devine at 250-706-2101.