The Scarborough community certainly didn’t sleep on supporting the Rouge Valley Health System Foundation’s Buy a Bed campaign, helping smash its fundraising goal of 100 new beds.
Thanks to the campaign and its support, 120 new beds are making their way to Scarborough’s Rouge Valley Centenary hospital. The first shipment of beds arrived Tuesday, Feb. 5, and immediately went into use.
On Wednesday, Feb. 6, morning volunteers and supporters gathered at the hospital to celebrate the campaign’s success and the arrival of the first bed shipment.
“We surpassed our goal, and it’s been such a community-driven event, and I can’t thank everyone enough,” said Scarborough East Councillor Paul Ainslie, who co-chaired the campaign committee with his wife Janet.
“So many people came together, and we couldn’t be prouder of everyone that’s been involved.”
Each bed costs approximately $5,000. The new beds will be distributed throughout almost every unit of the hospital.
At the celebration event, many people came dressed in pajamas to show their support of the campaign. To kick off the celebration, a parade of new beds pushed by donors and volunteers made its way through the crowd to loud cheers and applause.
“Each and every new bed that is coming into Rouge has some state-of-the-art features that will allow our clinicians and our patients to have a better experience here at Rouge Valley,” explained Cheryl Williams, vice president of acute services at the hospital.
She noted the new beds are equipped with features such as therapeutic mattresses, weigh scales and adjustable heights. “While patients rarely think of their bed as a piece of equipment, it is a vital part of every stay in so many departments in our hospital.”
The two-year campaign raised money through several fundraising events, as well as donations from local community groups, businesses and residents. Hospital staff were huge supporters of the campaign, with many directing funds to the campaign through payroll deductions.
“Donors have come from all sectors, from corporations to children donating money from their lemonade stand,” noted Councillor Ainslie. “Firefighters, EMS staff, police, TTC employees and a great number of the hospital’s own staff and administration have thrown their support and personal donations behind this campaign and we are truly inspired by their dedication.”
Campaign volunteers were so inspired by their work, they decided they couldn’t bear to stop when the campaign finished.
“The support we received from everyone really spoke to and encouraged us and energized us further,” Janet Ainslie said. “We’re going to take the momentum from here, and we’re going to use the event to raise money for other needs at the hospital every year in the bed races.”
The annual bed races will take place at the Scarborough Town Centre, with the next taking place Friday. May 24 and raising money for a new operating table.
To support the Rouge Valley Health System Foundation, and find out more about its work, visit www.rougevalley.ca/rvhsf/.