The Stanton Territorial Hospital Foundation hit some paydirt in recent days, so to speak, thanks to CIBC and the Yellowknife Golf Club.
The foundation looks after the Run For Our Lives campaign, which received a financial shot in the arm late last month courtesy of a three-year financial commitment from CIBC worth $75,000. The sponsorship runs from 2021 to 2023, which may cause some to wonder why it was only announced now.
Patty Olexin-Lang, the foundation’s executive director, explained why.
“We were going through Covid and there were some paperwork issues,” she said. “CIBC has a national donation policy in place, but the money is there and we are so happy with the amount they’ve committed.”
It’s $25,000 per year for the three years, she added, and it will go toward the purchase of a new digital breast tomosynthesis machine for the hospital.
Olexin-Lang said about half the money has been raised to buy the equipment, but the hospital will go ahead and purchase it in the meantime.
“We’ll hand the money over when we get it,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of great support from the Mud Run and our local sponsors.”
The Run For Our Lives is specific to the NWT and follows in the footsteps of the similar sort of organization in Yukon. The NWT version began in 2005 with the goal of raising money for breast cancer, just as the Run For The Cure does in the south.
Olexin-Lang said the Run For Our Lives was started because there was very little money coming back to the North.
The goal is simple: what’s raised in the North stays in the North.
“The (organizing) committee felt there wasn’t a lot of support (from the south),” she said. “The organizers in Whitehorse held its own event one year to keep the money in Yukon and the NWT followed. It makes more sense for us to do it that way and we’re glad CIBC jumped on board to help out.”
But that’s not all.
The golf club also handed over some funds to the foundation on Wednesday. A cheque in the amount of $18,430 changed hands courtesy of the Men’s F*ck Cancer Tournament that happened this past summer.
Shaun Morris, the club’s president, said the proceeds came from entry fees, donations, sponsorships and silent auction bidding.
“The guys were really generous and over $18,000 is an amazing number for our first time,” he said. “I had no idea we would get that much because it was the inaugural tournament. We were hoping for just a decent amount.”
It was an 18-hole tournament with every hole sponsored by businesses and organizations, he added.
“We had a couple who weren’t able to get in as sponsors and they just gave us donations in lieu of that,” he said.
There was a women’s version of the tournament, in honour of the late Robin Mercer-Sproule, held in July, which also raised money for cancer research; Olexin-Lang said that money is going toward the purchase of the mammography machine.
Morris said the men’s version was started because there isn’t any male-specific cancer program in the NWT.
“No groups, no organizations — it’s all general cancer,” he said. “We reached out and talked to Patty and the money we raised will go through Run For Our Lives and eventually on to something specific for men in the NWT.”
Olexin-Lang said the funds will be be used to promote men’s cancer awareness or purchase a piece of new equipment for the hospital that relates to men’s cancers.