Sunday, July 3, 2022

Lions Club, community fundraising brings portable ultrasound to EMH

  • June 22 2022
  • By Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative reporter    

CANSO – More than 50 people gathered at the Lions Club in Canso on June 18 for a funding announcement that will impact everyone served by the Eastern Memorial Hospital (EMH).

Last December, after ascertaining that a mobile ultrasound machine and cart, with an estimated price tag of $60,000, was needed in the EMH emergency department, the Canso Lions Club kicked off a fundraising campaign by donating $10,000 to the cause. The club also applied for a Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) grant of $27,740, which would only be approved if the community raised matching funds.

Last Saturday, LCIF Past District Governor (PDG) Rhonda Trickett presented a cheque for $27,740 – the full grant amount requested – to the EMH ultrasound project.

Canso Lion Ray White spoke to those gathered about the project, explaining the origin of the initiative, the path to date and the benefit to community healthcare the ultrasound would bring.

Researching the path to LFCIF grant funding White learned that, “Grants were available if more than one Lions Club applied for a grant and met the criteria. I contacted King Lion Donald MacLellan of the Antigonish Lions Club who agreed to partner in the application to LCIF. The application for an LCIF grant is extensive; I had the support of Julieann Myatt and Angela Dobson who helped with the medical information.”

The matching $27,740 had been raised by the community when the grant was submitted on Jan. 5 — just more than one month after the call went out for community support.

Not knowing if the grant would be approved, the community fundraising efforts continued to ensure that, grant or no grant, the money needed for the equipment would be available this year. White noted, “During the fundraising, the [EMH] Foundation announced that any donations above the cost of the ultrasound machine and cart would be placed in the EMH Foundation account.”

At the announcement, Trickett congratulated the Canso and Antigonish Lions clubs, as well as the EMH Foundation, for their successful collaboration in obtaining the LCIF grant and raising the matching funds for the ultrasound project. She noted that White put a lot of effort into “crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s in the application, making sure he “answered all the questions that could have possibly been asked.”

Julieann Myatt, representing the EMH Foundation, thanked everyone for their support, especially White. She noted that the foundation’s regular yearly fundraiser – the memorial walk-a-thon — has been cancelled over the past two years due to COVID-19, which made this fundraising project especially important to meet the needs of the hospital.

Myatt concluded her remarks by detailing the monies secured for the portable ultrasound project: $10,000 from the Canso Lions Club, $27,740 from LCIF, $20,000 from the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (not yet received but reported in the MODG newsletter) and $56,000 from the community.

All monies, Myatt said, “above the project fundraiser amount, will be used to purchase the requested items on our list.”