What if 40 local companies committed to donating $5,000 per year over five years to the Huntsville Hospital Foundation?
That’s the premise behind Business Cares, an initiative that, if successful, will put $1,000,000 into healthcare coffers in Huntsville. Shortly after launching, it’s already a quarter of the way to that goal with 10 businesses on board with donations.
Business Cares was announced at the Huntsville Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce AGM on January 28 by Chair Pat Dubé, who is also on the Huntsville Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. He stressed how important it is for local business owners to support the hospital.
The piece that many in the general public don’t know is that the government doesn’t fund any medical equipment or any medical technology so that responsibility comes back to the community as a fundraising effort to support our Foundation. In the past, Huntsville has been able to raise 90 per cent of the needs of equipment.
Pat Dubé, Chair of the Business Cares committee
Significant funds are needed, Dubé emphasized. “Our objective is to raise three million dollars a year and this campaign is going to take a big chunk out of that. This is probably one of the most important times in the hospital’s history to recruit support from the community. Business has to take a strong role in that.”
It seems that the business community agrees. Dubé has pledged funds from his company, Greystone Project Management, as has Jason Armstrong’s Drive Muskoka group.
“We’ve already got a lot of momentum,” said Dubé. “We haven’t even gone to the public with this thing and we are already a quarter of the way there. I’d like to mention two folks that have come forward already – Cathy and Brian McMurray of The Hunt House Jewellery and Ginger and Martin Barkey of MBRP. And I have others but we’re not going to tell you right now. We are going to unveil some names as we go along.”
After that announcement, Scott Morrison, partner with Brent Stapleton at Coldwell Banker Thompson Real Estate, stood to pledge the company’s support for the campaign.
“As business owners we know that the health of our hospital is critical to the health of our community. We are on the front line everyday and we see people deciding which community in cottage country they are going to live in based on hospitals, schools, businesses and economy of the town,” he said.
Mayor Aitchison is very passionate about health care in our community. He made a pitch to our team recently about whether we should get involved in this. We operate as a team. We vote as a team. We put it to the team as to what we are going to do. Typically that takes about three hours of debate, but this took seven seconds. So, we would like as a company contribute to this campaign as well.
Scott Morrison, Coldwell Banker Thompson Real Estate
Many of the businesses involved already support the hospital in other ways through initiatives like matching employee giving. The Huntsville Hospital Foundation and Business Cares see this new initiative as way for companies to benefit from the recognition of a larger campaign with a brand of its own.
Dubé added a personal plea for the business owners in attendance. “As a business owner, I know what the impact on my life would be if there wasn’t a hospital here,” he said. “It would be very different. I think every business owner in this room would say it would be very difficult for us to build a business without a hospital. It’s time to gather forces and show our support. And I think we need to show the Ministry and show the LHIN that the community is behind this effort. We are going to raise the money that we have pledged to raise and I am committed to doing it.”