Trinity Conception Placentia Health Foundations raises more then $456,000 at telethon
It was the best to date.
That is how Trinity Conception Placentia Health Foundation chief development officer Don Coombs and foundation chair Helen Clarke are describing the 24th annual TCP telethon
Trinity Conception Placentia Health Foundation
The event raised more than $456,000, a total significantly higher than previous years.
Dozen of special guests and hundreds of volunteers from Trinity, Conception and Placentia areas gathered at Amalgamated Academy in Bay Roberts Sunday, Oct. 6 to help answer phones, read donations live on air and host the daylong event.
“It was nice to see communities get together to support the cause,” Clarke said in a phone interview with The Compass.
All seven health facilities in the area, including Carbonear General Hospital, Lions Manor nursing home in Placentia, the Dr. W.H. Newhook Community Health Centre in Whitbourne and the Dr. A.A. Wilkinson Memorial Health Centre in Old Perlican, were asked to submit a wish list to the foundation.
The wish lists were an opportunity for the staff at each location to request items and program funding that are relevant and sometimes necessary for daily operations of the facility, to assist with patient care and to modernize equipment.
Lions Manor had a list that included items to aid the comfort and activities for their long term care patients.
“One of the top items on the (Lions Manor) wish list was an $85,000 wheelchair van,” Clarke explained. “It is very important to them because they would like to take patients on outings. They haven’t been able to go.”
Besides the van, Placentia is still putting together a garden for its dementia patients.
“It’s an ongoing project with a hefty price tag,” Clarke said.
The total amount was not available for the completion of the garden, but Clarke believes it is now in the vicinity of $300,000.
It was announced at the beginning of the telethon that all Placentia-based donations would return to the Placentia area.
Carbonear hospital has a pretty hefty price tag on some of their requests as well, but one in particular has been placed on the top of TCP’s list.
There are four cardiac monitors and a central station worth some $300,000 for the emergency room. Other requests include comfortable seating in waiting areas, several dialysis chairs — at $5,000 a piece — and bariatric wheelchairs and stretchers.
There were several large donations this year from both groups and individuals.
For the second year in a row, Kelly’s Landing made a substantial donation.
Last year, the group “Friends of Kelly’s Landing” donated some $11,000 to the telethon. This year, the total was over $19,000, all in memory of Dale Gosse, who passed away in March 2012.
“I was floored,” Clarke said.
Group members Donna Fowler and daughter Kelly hosted a mock jail event in coordination with the RCMP this year.
People from the community were “arrested” and brought to Kelly’s Landing, where they were held until someone paid for their release, explained Clarke.
The group was particularly interested in the dialysis unit. The large donation is expected to purchase three patient dialysis chairs.
Another large donation came from Eastern Health employees in the region, who contributed to a 50/50 draw biweekly.
Some $80,000 was donated this year from the group, $30,000 more than last year.
Some other big contributors were the Tree of Life campaign with some $7,500, the ladies’ auxiliary at Carbonear hospital ($5,000) and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador ($50,000).
Over $2,000 was donated by Herman and Marina Harris of Harbour Grace, who sold tickets on a quilt. The couple had the money stolen that was raised but it was recovered in time to donate it at the telethon.
A special thanks was also made to the volunteer fire departments in the region for helping out and donating to the cause, as well as the TriCon Special Olympians and all the town councils that made donations.
Spending the donations
The foundation keeps strict and accurate records on its spending, according to Coombs.
“TCP employs two people on salary in accordance with Eastern Health’s salary scale that gets reviewed every few years,” he explained. “We get audited regularly and all spending must be approved by the board of directors and Eastern Health.”
Clarke confirmed all funds made from events hosted by TCP are placed back into the foundation.
“Our board of directors is 100 per cent volunteer,” she said.
In objection to rumours that have been suggested, Coombs noted the two workers — himself and his executive assistant — do not get a percentage of the donations.
It was also confirmed by Coombs the organization is well below the expected cost-to-revenue ratio. TCP spends approximately 22 cents per dollar collected, while the required amount to be a charitable organization is around 35 cents per dollar.
Both Coombs and Clarke said their expenditures are available on the Canadian Revenue Agency website (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/lstngs/menu-eng.html) for verification.
Update on Carbonear upgrades
Clarke said the dialysis unit at Carbonear hospital is now “all organized.”
A tender has been called for the construction of the room, and it is expected to begin in the near future.
Clarke confirmed the foundation is prepared to furnish the room once it is completed.
Meanwhile, the organization is still waiting on a second ER for Carbonear hospital and new, more modern equipment for doctors in the region.
“Nice modern equipment certainly adds to helping recruit and retain new doctors in the area,” Clarke said. “Technology is changing so rapidly and new lifesaving equipment comes with a hefty price tag. Every so often it has to be replaced and it becomes a costly venture.”
Clarke agreed new equipment is expected to be approved and purchased in the coming months.
“I want to send out a heartfelt thank you to everyone in the region and all the volunteers who made it happen,” she said. “The funds raised add to patient comfort, patient safety, and employee safety by purchasing proper equipment for each facility.”