The “Care Close to Home” campaign got a shot in the arm Saturday with a $30,000 donation from an Emo area family.
Ted Kaemingh and family made the presentation to campaign chairman John McTaggart during an official groundbreaking ceremony for the Emo hospital.
“It’s this kind of support that will make this project a reality,” McTaggart said. “It’s been unbelievable.”
In addition to helping with the donation, Ted Kaemingh has joined the central district fundraising committee.
“It’s a very important thing for the community to have these facilities,” Kaemingh said. “We have to raise a considerable amount of money. We have to use a lot of shoulders to bring this [project] to reality.”
Everything is still on schedule for a Christmas completion in Emo. McTaggart said work on the LaVerendrye project hopefully should begin shortly after that.
The Care Close to Home campaign officially kicked off back in June with a stretcher relay from Rainy River to Fort Frances. It’s goal is to raise $3.5 million by September to cover the costs of both renovation projects in Emo and LaVerendrye Hospital.
Wendy Judson, co-chair of the central district fundraising committee, said the flow of donations slowed down a bit as the summer as the summer wore on but says things are starting to pick up again.
“We just got one person who came on board [Friday] and he’s just raised $1,500 himself,” Judson said. “The people of the central district are known for their generosity. I know we’re going to make it.”
Percy Champagne, who co-chairs with Judson, said the campaign has done a lot to heal some of the health care wounds between Fort Frances and Emo.
“When I first came to the district, I heard a lot of stories about turf wars,” he said. “As I get more involved with the committee, I see less and less of it.”
“The ‘Care Close to Home’ campaign is an example of district wide cooperation,” echoed Emo councillor Cecil Ogden. “It’s a wonderful thing to see people from various aspects [of life] working together.”