WINCHESTER — The annual lighting of the Judy Lannin Christmas Wish Tree brought festive cheer to the Winchester District Memorial Hospital — and an occasion to remind the public that hospital equipment is not funded by provincial taxpayers.
Rather, it’s through community fundraising activities — such as the Wish Tree and a slew of other initiatives throughout the year — that the institution is able to keep its medical equipment up to date.
WDMH Chief of Staff Dr. Darren Tse spoke about the impact of the Wish Tree donations to the crowd assembled in the lobby, Dec. 11. “Every gift ensures we can provide the very best and safest care at WDMH. Thank you for your support and for being part of this festive tradition. You truly make a difference!”
“Maybe not many people know — and in that group, I would include physicians — that equipment doesn’t buy itself,” explained Tse. “In fact, the government pays for none of it. And it’s really thanks to the generosity of our donors that we have any equipment at all, let alone all the top-class equipment we have at the hospital.”
Among WDMH’s acquisitions of the past year, the doctor counted a brand new eye microscope, used on cataract patients, as well as new equipment used in bowel-cancer and bladder surgeries.
The current seasonal campaign asks donors to contribute to the WDMH Foundation in the memory or honour of someone near and dear to their heart.
“For those of us who have made an in-memoriam gift, we are missing someone from our lives. But they are always there, in our hearts and in the back of our minds. For those of us who have made a gift in honour of someone, we are grateful to know you, and we value you more than you will know,” explained the Foundation’s Managing Director Kristen Casselman just before the giant tree was lit up. “We each have our own way of remembering, reflecting, showing appreciation, and caring. Thank you.”
Some children from grades 4, 5 and 6 at Morrisburg Public School – UCDSB continued their annual tradition of carolling at Winchester District Memorial Hospital, Dec. 11, under the direction of teacher Sarah Barclay Thomas. They’re also shown in the clip delivering seasonal empathy cards to patients at the institution. The visit coincided with the lighting of the Christmas tree in the hospital lobby, with two students from the school again handling that ceremonial duty this year.
Morrisburg Public School students again had the honour of flipping the switch, with Grade 5’ers Natalie Austin and Aurora Wilson doing the honours.
Earlier, a contingent of Grade 4, 5 and 6 MPS students toured the hospital, handing out empathy cards and singing Christmas carols for patients and staff. For the past 12 years, teacher Sarah Barclay Thomas has organized this festive tradition. In all, 467 cards were distributed to patients and staff, and others to be shared with Dundas Manor residents.
The Seaway Valley Singers serenaded the audience that included many sponsors of The Judy Lannin Christmas Wish Tree.
Proceeds from the program go to the Family Care Fund to help ensure that WDMH can continue to provide compassionate, excellent health care — close to home.