Tree of Hearts Campaign inching closer to 25-year mark
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
The Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) Foundation has started their 23rd Annual Tree of Hearts Campaign.
The campaign provides an opportunity for community members to remember or honour loved ones through purchasing decorative lights, which assists the health centre in purchasing needed equipment.
“All the proceeds go to the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Foundation, and we’re usually looking to purchase smaller pieces of equipment. Last year we bought a BiliBlanket, which is short for bilirubin. It’s for babies who are born with jaundice and need constant light to get rid of the jaundice. This year, both the extended care and the health centre require beds, so we’ll hope to get enough to buy at least one bed,” said Rita Demetzer, SLMHC Foundation representative.
Over the course of the long-time campaign, the community has helped raise over $80,000 dollars to purchase needed equipment. Community members purchase lights for ten dollars to put on trees in the courtyard at the Meno Ya Win Health Centre. Demetzer said they usually ask the town to light the trees downtown at Centennial Park as well.
Demetzer thanked community members and businesses for their ongoing support. Lights will be available for purchase at Fresh Market Foods throughout January and February. Lights can also be purchased online, in-person at the SLMHC, and through the mail.
“I want to thank all the people and businesses of Sioux Lookout for supporting the Tree of Hearts Campaign over the last 23 years. Without their support, the campaign wouldn’t be successful, and we certainly appreciate every donation we receive,” said Demetzer.
“I want to thank all the businesses over the years that have had tickets in their stores for people to purchase the lights. We’ve changed our model in the last couple of years. Because so many people rarely carry cash anymore, we’re moving towards online donations. If they want to purchase lights, they can do so by going to www.slmhc.on.ca/foundation and then click on the donate button. People can also still send in a cheque to our PO Box or they can stop in to the office at the health centre and I will be happy to help them,” she added.
The lights will be up, and will stay lit, during the week of Feb. 14. Lights can be purchased at the SLMHC front desk and in the mail, being addressed to PO Box 909, Sioux Lookout, ON, P8T 1B4.