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Health care fundraising committee plans silent auction

Silent auction is the first event of the committee's 18-month $128,000 fundraising campaign
MVT Liz Mills health care committee -1
Olds Health Care Fundraising Committee chair Liz Mills says starting in April, the committee is launching an 18-month campaign to raise $128,000. File photo/MVP Staff

OLDS — Like virtually everyone else, the Olds Health Care Fundraising Committee (OHCFC) has been forced to pivot, due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

So they’ve arranged a silent auction which will be staged by Rosehill Auction Service & Olds Auction Mart via Facebook Live April 9-13.

It’s the first fundraiser of the committee's new campaign. They hope to raise $128,000 over the next 18 months for panda warmers for the Olds Hospital and Care Centre.

“It’s ambitious, but if you don’t set a target, you don’t get anywhere, do you,” said OHCFC chair Liz Mills during an interview.

She described panda warmers as “a device for the newborn – a piece of equipment that delivers everything they need right away, all in one place.”

Mills said part of the reason the committee chose to focus on panda warmers this time around is that “the hospital now delivers babies for quite a large area around here.”

Information on the panda warmers, provided by Mills, says the unit can provide suction, deliver and monitor oxygen as well as regulate temperature. It even features a weigh scale.

Having all those capabilities in one piece of equipment is more efficient that having several devices to check on the newborn.

And with fewer machines to check, nurses have more time to interact with moms and their babies.

The silent auction is the first of what Mills and the committee hope will be several fundraisers to reach their $128,000 goal.

For example, they’re hoping to hold a barn dance at the Big Rack Cow Palace Event Centre later this year, when Alberta Health Services pandemic guidelines allow it.

“We had tentatively booked the Cow Palace for this spring, but we had to cancel that because it just wasn’t going to fly, was it,” Mills said.

“But I think it will be an awesome venue to use and we’re looking forward to working with them as soon as we’re allowed to.”

All in all, Mills says the pandemic has made things really tough for the OHCFC.

“It’s been challenging the last year. Donations are down, you’re unable to stage any events, there’s less money available for donations. And yet, health care, there’s a lot more expectations from the public,” she said.