Using the Zoom platform, organizers Thursday spoke of the success of the St Joseph Villa’s Caring Beyond Capital Campaign. At an aspirational $4.2 million the fundraising has moved at a rapid pace since late fall 2020.
While the official campaign launch may have been “virtual” the goals and intentions are real. Campaign co-chair Celia Teale, and honorary co-chairs Jim Gordon and Maureen Lacroix, spoke of how the drive is progressing. So far, $3.1 million is now committed.
Having achieved 73 per cent of their goal the fundraising committee celebrated two significant recent additions to the campaign. Acknowledging a donation from The Power Corporation and The Desmarais Family - at a combined $200,000 - plus the $150,000 from the Desjardins Community Development Fund, organizers say there is still room for engagement.
The Desmarais family has deep Sudbury ties, while Desjardins is the largest cooperative financial institution in Canada. In the past, both have stepped up for other important projects; they are here to assist this one now.
Jo-Anne Palkovits outlined the imperatives of this round of fundraising, expressing how the monies will assist with repairs, replacement, improvements, and retrofits. “The roof, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, kitchens and bathrooms, beds and mattresses … if that is one thing COVID has taught us is that we have to upgrade to the highest standards.”
Industrial bathing equipment is another investment Palkovits believes is essential. Purchases have already commenced in all areas.
“With the roof, there was no choice but to go out and tender and replace immediately. Its repair was critical.
“Advanced air handling looks like it will be covered by support of both federal and provincial governments,” she added.
Palkovits has been the president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Centre since 2003.
“St Joseph’s Villa has now provided compassionate care for over 18 years … it is a safe, caring environment,” said Gordon, former Sudbury MPP and mayor. “But we need help from citizens like you.”
Gordon pointed out how support by the community goes to the operations and facilities, and not for profit. “I’m thrilled to be part of this initiative. In this final sprint … do step up.
“This reaffirms my belief that Sudburians realize and support the amazing work, sacrifices and dedication to the community that our older citizens have contributed. And St. Joseph’s Villa is a shining example of how that compassionate care can, and should be delivered.
“Caring for those who cared for us,” is a theme often repeated. Nickel Belt MP Marc Serre delivered an impassioned address thanking private sector investment and expressing gratitude to donors for their generosity.
Billy Boucher, CEO of Desjardins, spoke of the need to support key ventures, specifically socially transformative projects. Its Good Start and Momentum Fund nurtures regional economic development and local initiatives.
Desjardins delivers “not just financial support but staff get involved in their communities,” said Gabriel Godin, Vice President, Desjardins Business Banking,
Celia Teale Campaign Co-chair: “We’ve received $1.8 million from the federal and provincial governments, $500,000 from the City of Greater Sudbury and in excess of $700,000 from corporations and individuals from across the region.”
St. Gabriel’s in Chelmsford and St. Joseph’s depend on Ministry of Long-Term Care (MLTC) funding and residents’ fees for “the basic costs of personal care, food, staffing and accommodation. Underfunding of long-term care has long been a challenge. And that funding model does not include sorely needed capital spending.”
Currently, 122 residents call St Joseph’s home, and as a home has to be maintained daily and rejuvenated time-to-time.
Linda Wilson said it was an honour and privilege to be part of the St. Joseph’s board for nine years. Her father was a resident before he passed. The caring by St. Joseph’s staff was comforting.
“It was heartwarming, it was appreciated. I joined board because I was so impressed. They live their vision and mission. It is the best you will find anywhere.”
Jo-Anne Palkovits concluded: “As a not-for-profit organization we have consistently run balanced budgets as prudent managers of the public and donor dollars. However, we have no sources of capital funding except for compassionate donors. We need our community to come together for this worthwhile cause, now more than ever.”
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Hugh Kruzel, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star