From June 23 to August 11, 2023, Bayport Lodge and its members, matched donations to the Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) Foundation MRI Fund, up to a total of $50,000. Shared only through local media and word of mouth, the challenge resonated with the community and inspired local businesses, individuals and another local masonic group to donate $50,300 in just 50 days.
Bayport Masonic Lodge has been a contributing part of the community since 1883, and offering this match gift is a great reminder of their dedication to local health care.
“We are pleased that we were able to encourage others to join us in helping to bring an MRI to GBGH,” shares Bayport Lodge Worshipful Master Robert Ledingham. “Our members feel very strongly about supporting our local hospital, and one of the three great principles of Freemasonry is relief. We practice charity, and care, not only for our own, but also for the community.”
Bringing an MRI to GBGH will require generous investment from the community, with a total goal of $4-million over the next two years.
“This gift from Bayport Masonic Lodge has inspired so much generosity, and we are incredibly grateful for their commitment to community,” says Jesse Dees, senior key relationships officer, GBGH Foundation. “And, we want to say a heartfelt thank you to the 30 other individuals and organizations who came together to double their impact on the MRI campaign.”
To date, more than $1.6-million has been raised toward the goal, and the hospital has commenced planning for the expansion required to accommodate the new technology, which it hopes will be complete in early 2025.
“Given the importance of bringing an MRI to GBGH, we are pleased to have incredible support from local organizations who share our hospital’s strategy to continually improve and grow the services we provide our community,” says Matthew Lawson, president and CEO, GBGH. “We have been working closely with the Ministry of Health to efficiently move this important project forward. As we have to build an expansion on the hospital’s existing Diagnostic Imaging department to accommodate the MRI, there are many steps that go into planning a project of this size. We are taking these preliminary steps to ensure we are ready to start construction once all approvals finalized for this exciting new clinical service.”