Radiothon raises funds for two critical pieces of equipment for the Charlotte County Hospital

St. Stephen – Things were a bit different for the annual Radiothon for the Charlotte County Hospital Foundation Inc. (CCHF), but even in the midst of a pandemic, organizers were able to raise over $50,000 to purchase vital equipment for the Charlotte County Hospital. CCHF President Steve Backman said even though the original goal was to raise $95,000, they began the day hoping to raise at least $40,000. The well surpassed that number, and Backman said everyone is “ecstatic”.

“We did really well,” said Backman. “We raised a little over $53,000, which is really good considering COVID and all of the issues that go around it. We were extremely pleased. When we started the day, we hoped for $40,000. Our ultimate goal was $95,000, but that was to buy everything on the list. Anything over $40,000 we thought would be a win.”

Backman said they are going to be able to purchase the Lucas device, which is a robotic CPR machine, and a baby warmer. Although there is no maternity ward at the hospital, there are occasions when babies are born there, and they must be transported to the Regional Hospital in Saint John. This baby warmer is to be used during transportation.

Because COVID-19 has caused financial hardships for many, Backman and his team didn’t expect to reach their ultimate goal. He was amazed at how much they were able to collect, and said the generosity of the community was “astounding”. Many phone-in donations were paid by credit card, and many people came directly to the station with cash donations. They also received cheques from many local businesses.

“We’ve collected almost all of the pledges already. It was incredible.”

Several local food establishments also stepped up to make sure that the volunteers had plenty of food and treats to keep them going throughout the day. The management from McDonald’s brought in coffee and muffins, along with other food throughout the day, and challenged other food establishments to do their part.

“Subway came in at lunch time with lunch boxes for the volunteers, and then Pita Pit came in the evening with rice bowls for everybody. Of course, the whoopee pie lady, Big Whoop, came in with sweets. The water guy came in and kept the cooler filled with ice water all day. The volunteers were treated like royalty, which was really nice.”

Backman said he would like to thank all of the volunteers, and everyone who made donations to help CCHF purchase items for the hospital. He also wants to thank Charlotte FM for all of the support they provided for the event. He said they had “tons of support” from the management and staff at the radio station, and Radiothon was once again a successful event.

“We had Kelly in the Morning from Saint John, and we had the director of sales, and he helped with the volunteering and in the office. It was just a really beautiful day for everyone. We were totally ecstatic.”

sarigreen@stcroixcourier.ca