ANNIE SILVESTER/Bullet News
The Niagara Health System paid tribute to the supporters of the It’s Our Time Campaign as the donor wall was unveiled in the new St. Catharines hospital facility’s front lobby.
The mood was enthusiastic as “1 million square feet of care” became a reality through not only government funding but also donations from the public.
On hand were local dignitaries, donors, hospital representatives and of course the campaign committee who worked tirelessly for years with special events and fundraisers to raise monies.
John Walker and Archie Katzman, co-chairmen of the campaign, lept to the stage with their shout of “unbelievable” to the crowd, acknowledging the achievements that the day celebrated.
Walker revealed the final tallies saying the original $40 million dollar goal for the campaign was not only raised but surpassed.
“I thought this would be a good time to share our new total… $41.4 million. That’s a lot of grunt.”
Added Katzman: “They told us originally our target was $25 million dollars and we came out of the gate pretty good on that one, so they took the 25 and went up to $40 million. But, you know what? I’ll be honest. I wish they hadn’t of stopped the campaign and I wish it had kept going because I personally think there’s more money out there. When people come and see this facility I know they’re going to be generous.”
Of the money raised, $25 million goes to the new hospital including the regional cancer centre and cardiac lab. The rest of the funds will go to improvements at other NHS hospitals.