Queen Charlotte welcomed the return of Hospital Day festivities on June 18, raising $13,675 for scholarships and specialized equipment.
After a three-year hiatus due to COVID, Hospital Day returned to kick off summer on a sunny Saturday.
“It was great to finally be able to get together again after so much staying apart. It was good to see so many faces,” Skyla Holdershaw, a member of the Hospital Day committee, said.
“It was so nice and happy just to be around everyone.”
The day was jam-packed with carnival-style fun for kids and adults alike.
In the morning, parade-goers were greeted with candy raining from the sky while a progression of floats made its way down Oceanview Drive. The route ended near the baseball diamonds, where the crowd participated in games, music and good food.
Event organizers sold tickets for a chance to try balloon darts, a blow-up obstacle course, horse rides and more. Tickets could also be used to purchase beverages and food, including fan-favourite cotton candy.
Inside the community centre was an array of artisan booths and an auction.
Behind the centre, on the basketball courts, Levi Burton and Stanley Swanson were named champions of the fast-paced two-on-two tournament.
While it’s a day filled with fun, it’s also a way for the hospital to fundraise. Part of the revenue supports an annual scholarship for students who have completed at least one year of post-secondary education and who are working in areas leading to careers in the healthcare field.
Mayor Kris Olsen announced this year’s $1,000 bursary recipients as Crystal Young and Myles Husband.
Young, from Skidegate, graduated with honours from an Indigenous Studies program at Camosun College and will be continuing her studies in social work and mental health at the University of Victoria.
Husband is a Queen Charlotte resident working toward a Biology degree at the University of Northern British Columbia. He is particularly interested in psychology and holistic approaches to health care.
Olsen then passed the microphone off to Kerry Laidlaw, hospital administrator at Northern Health, so he could recognize Meggan Wood. Wood is a hospital employee who has contributed in a profound way this year and was honoured with the annual award.
“She’s worked very hard to keep our site operational through COVID, which has been a real challenge for everyone,” he said.
He also held a moment to remember Ellen Foster, a long Hospital Day volunteer and chair of the hospital foundation for over a decade, who died earlier this spring.
Volunteers entirely ran the event and Holdershaw said she is very grateful for everyone who stepped up to help because without them none of it could have happened.
Kaitlyn Bailey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View