MRI campaign comes up a whisker short

A two-year campaign to raise $2.8 million for the local hospital’s MRI is $40,000 shy of its goal.

It was hoped proceeds from last month’s Dream Home Lottery would complete the campaign if tickets sold out, but sales fell just short at 95%.

“This year’s Dream Home raised $250,000 for the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), which leaves us with $40,000 to go,” says Kathy Alexander, executive director of the Bluewater Health Foundation, which heads up the campaign.

Expectations were high the Dream Home would sell out, so there is no formal plan to raise the balance, she said.

“But the intent is to wrap up the campaign by the end of March, which is the hospital’s fiscal year end.”

The provincial government pays the MRI’s operating costs while the community raises the capital.

Sarnia received its first MRI in 2004 and its replacement in 2012. Since then, virtually all the hospital foundation’s fundraising has been directed to the multi-million dollar cost, including a dinner featuring Col. Chris Hadfield last year.

The current MRI can do state-of-the-art neurological exams, pediatric exams and offers breast assessments for women with high risk for cancer.

“Because of it, Bluewater Health is designated an Ontario breast screening site,” said Alexander.

– Cathy Dobson