Hospital and South of 60 team up to make a difference

BARRY’S BAY – St. Francis Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Family Helping Family Campaign is getting closer to their $1.2 million goal – but they may need a little help from a couple artists and the community.

The campaign, currently in its community phase and last stage of fundraising efforts, has a wish to provide patients with better quality care through replacing staff equipment.

Fundraising dollars will help within various departments at the hospital. Currently, the hospital’s major needs are new main and mobile X-ray units for the diagnostic imaging department, Executive Director for the foundation, Toni Lavigne-Conway said. What’s more, These units will cost about $750,000.
“So, we really need our community’s help,” Lavigne-Conway added.
A common misconception, according to the executive director, in her experience, is people often assume the hospital has the help of the ministry. But they don’t, she said. The ministry does not help with the purchase and replacement of equipment for the hospital – and the hospital, staff and patients need this equipment, Lavigne-Conway said.
At the core of the campaign, monies generated are to make a direct impact now and five years from now.
But fundraising such large dollars isn’t always easy. So, in a more recent development, the campaign will be pairing with South of 60 Art Centre Curator, Anya Blake, Lavigne-Conway told the Gazette.
An art exhibition and silent auction, titled Creative Hands – Healing Hands will be helping to bring the campaign home this year, the duo agreed.
Although the foundation will be pairing with many organizations, community groups and individuals to support the campaign, this is an event the duo is really hoping can reach people on a unique level.
The multimedia art exhibition will showcase local artists and donated pieces of original artwork.
From handmade jewellery and pottery, to prints, paintings, fine arts, textiles, or quilts, to name a few, Blake will be accepting all kinds of pieces.
“I know we have some wonderfully talented artists here,” Blake said.
But the pieces have to be handmade. So, nothing derived from a kit, for instance, Blake explained.
Blake will look after the assessment and acceptance of any pieces for the event currently.
The artwork will be available to buy through a silent auction, scheduled to run from September 6 through to October 12 in the upstairs gallery at the Barry’s Bay Railway Station.
Proceeds will go to the campaign.
Over the course of the six weeks, while the artwork will be displayed, the value and starting bid of the pieces will be posted and prospective buyers can and are encouraged to offer their bid silent auction style, Blake said. Bids will be updated regularly and the winner announced at the end of the exhibit.
And with the Barry’s Bay Railway Station having been open since 2001, the curator’s hoping with the credibility and relationships built they’ll be able to have some great pieces come in too, she said.
“We’re extremely eager to put on a great show,” Blake added.
So, whether artists have maybe been hanging onto a piece they would like to donate, or are interested in making something specific for the show, either or works, and it would be greatly appreciated, the pair said.
In the past, there have been so many offers from people who have wanted to donate art to the hospital, as a way to help, or show their care here, Lavigne-Conway said. Therefore, a multimedia art exhibit, like Creative Hands – Healing Hands seemed like a great opportunity and idea – one for everyone to enjoy, Lavigne-Conway added.
Both Blake and Lavigne-Conway said they want the community to enjoy the show.
Story continues in the March 20, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.