Residents of Rainy River and the west end of the district deserve to feel proud this week after the “Buy a Brick . . . Build it Quick” fundraising campaign for the new hospital there hit its $300,000 goal by the Dec. 31 deadline.
The target was reached with just days to spare, and not all 595 “bricks” have been sold yet, but given that many people—including some of the organizers—were doubtful the goal even was attainable as little as a month ago, getting there is a remarkable achievement for such a small community.
The way everyone threw their support behind the new hospital when the final local funding push got underway, not to mention the incredible financial commitment from the Royal Canadian Legion Br. #54 in Rainy River, was truly inspiring.
Equally important, it gives cause for optimism in Fort Frances and Emo, which also face raising big bucks for health care. In Emo, the local share for hospital renovations there tops $600,000 while about $1.3 million is needed to help upgrade the operating and emergency rooms at La Verendrye (among other improvements).
While both those efforts have gotten off to good starts through kick-off dinners and other fundraising events, it’s clear a lot of work is left to be done. But given the success of Rainy River’s drive, it’s just as clear district residents will come through.
What a way to ring out 1998 and welcome 1999!