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Annual 'Mama' luncheon raises $6,500

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Relaxation can be profitable—and the Riverside Foundation for Health Care's Special Events committee is glad for that.

The Foundation's annual spring luncheon, this year sporting the theme “Mama Needs to Relax,” raised roughly $6,500 on Sunday afternoon.

More than 110 women of all ages attended the Robert Moore School gym to enjoy a relaxing lunch, play games, and buy items to support district health care.

The event marked the first for the Foundation's new director, Allison Cox, who gave full credit to the Special Events committee for making it a success.

“I was really happy with what the turnout ended up being and what the rough number [fundraising total] is we're looking at right now,” Cox told the Times yesterday.

She lauded the Special Events committee for conducting a “last-minute push” to sell more tickets.

At the beginning of last week, only about 60 had been sold.

“The decor was amazing,” Cox enthused.

“The Special Events committee really stepped it up with having the director position vacant," she noted. ”They really stepped it up to get things done before I was actually in position.

“So by the time I stepped in, it was already taken of,” she remarked.

“They really made the transition easy for me.”

That said, Cox was no stranger to the spring luncheon and has fond memories as an attendee.

“I used to go the luncheon all of the time with my mom [Brenda]. It was our tradition every year," she recalled, adding that now, she's taken "a 180” and has experienced it from an organizer's perspective.

And from that perspective, Cox noticed that it seemed “everyone was having a great time" on Sunday and, just as importantly for a fundraiser, "everyone was willing to spend their money.”

Cox thanked all of the volunteers, community members who donated items, and those who attended for making the fundraiser a success.

The proceeds from this year's luncheon will go towards two projects.

“This year, we're raising some funds for new couches for the chemo department,” Cox said during Sunday's luncheon.

“This allows our patients to receive their treatment in a comfortable, home-like environment versus sitting in a treatment chair or laying in a hospital bed,” she noted.

“In addition to the chemo couches, we also raising money to go toward the purchase of an IV pump for the outpatient unit,” Cox added.

“These are used to deliver rate-controlled IV fluids, medications, and total pre-natal nutrition to patients.”

Sunday's fundraiser included a silent auction and “Retreat Boutique,” where clothing and other items were sold.

There also were three games: “Final Destination" (throw a paper airplane through hole in a stand-up display), "Ocean Waves Ball Drop" (drop a loonie or toonie into a glass container of water and try to get them to land into a wine glass at the bottom), and "Yoga Wiffle Ball” (strike a yoga pose and try to throw a wiffle ball into a cup).

There also was a penny table with prizes (tickets for the penny table actually were sold out before the event was over).

There were Zen garden centrepieces made by committee member Jan Abbott raffled off, as was a “mystery draw" for a flower planter from Hammond's Nursery with a "mystery box” inside (which contained $100 donated by June Keddie).

It also featured a delicious lunch prepared by the food service team at La Verendrye Hospital.

Livia Lundon, on behalf of Special Events committee chair Jan Cousineau, thanked event volunteers Jody Hamilton, Stephanie Botsford, Melissa Belluz, Patty McNally, Gina Pope, Betty DeGagne, and Dale Allan who helped “make this fundraiser great.”

Lundon also credited her fellow committee members in Cousineau, Karen Woods, Natalie DeGagne, Lynne Savage, Grace Cridland, Jan Abbott, and Rochelle Duchnicki, along with a trio of new members, Joelle Blanc-Paull, Paula Stringer, and Neila Booth.

In related news, the Riverside Foundation for Health Care now is selling tickets for it annual “Canada Day Cash Lottery.”

Volunteers sold them at the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce's 2018 Business & Community Expo this past Friday and Saturday at the curling club, as well as at the luncheon Sunday afternoon.

The tickets are being solid at the same prices as in the past—$20 each, three for $50, or seven for $100.

Prizes include a grand prize of $10,000 in cash, a second-place prize of $2,000, a third-place prize of $1,000, and four draws for $500 each.

As in previous years, every ticket is eligible for all draws. These will be drawn on Canada Day.

The early-bird prize is a fly-in fishing trip for two courtesy of the Manitou Weather Station and Fishing Lodge (three nights/two days, all inclusive).

This will be drawn on May 17 at 7 p.m. at Flint House.

Tickets currently are available at the La Verendrye Hospital tuck shop or directly from Cox (274-4803), who will mail them to those who purchase them.

As well, tickets soon will be available at various locations around Rainy River District.

A mail-out also is being sent to district residents next week. Those who wish to buy tickets can send back the enclosed envelope with payment information and get them that way.

Only 2,500 tickets have been printed to be sold.

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