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Power of Giving Gala boosts MRI fundraising

A woman with short dark hair wearing a white shirt and black sparkly jacket is speaking at a podium with the words Power of Giving on it.

On Saturday, September 16, 2023, the Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) Foundation hosted the Power of Giving Hybrid Gala, in person at a private property in Thunder Beach, and online through the Foundation’s YouTube channel. The sold out event, presented by Faris Team Real Estate Brokerage, raised more than $654,000 to help bring MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) technology to the Midland Hospital.

Guests had the opportunity to hear from Canadian celebrity, Jeanne Beker, who shared her personal journey of breast cancer survival, and highlighted the importance of MRI technology in screening and diagnosis.

“Breast cancer is so rampant…and if women have dense breasts, which over 40% do, you must get more than just a mammogram each year,” shared Jeanne. “You can get an ultrasound, and that’s good, but the best thing to get is an MRI. That is really what they want you to do every year.  And, wouldn’t it be amazing for local women to get that here in this wonderful community.”

A live fundraising segment followed, and more than $440,000 was raised thanks to the generosity of donors, both at home and in person, who pledged their support for bringing MRI technology closer to home.  A live auction, ticket sales, sponsorship, online auction and sales of Gbay Bags rounded out the revenue total.

“We are absolutely blown away by everyone’s incredible generosity,” says Nicole Kraftscik, CEO, GBGH Foundation. “Our Power of Giving Gala has become an event that inspires guests to come together in support of GBGH, and everyone – from our event partners, sponsors, donors, volunteers and bidders – made a difference for our hospital on Saturday night.”

Nearly 4,000 patients from North Simcoe travel a minimum of 80 kilometers roundtrip to get an MRI each year, and many more are unable to get this critical diagnostic testing if they are unable to travel to Barrie or Orillia. Improving access to MRI technology for all residents of North Simcoe is a top priority for the Midland hospital.

“Operationalizing an MRI at GBGH will dramatically reduce wait times across the entire region,” says Matthew Lawson, president & CEO, GBGH. “We know this is critical for our community, and so we are doing everything we can to fast-track the process, targeting the first quarter of 2025 to scan our first patient.” 

Those wanting to learn more about the MRI campaign can click here.


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