By Bruce Corcoran
Regional Rotarians are in the process of fundraising for masks for area hospitals, and the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance has already benefitted to the tune of $27,622 as a result.
Don “Sparky” Leonard, regional governor for Rotary District 6380, said the program is district-wide.
“When the pandemic hit, our Rotary district had a couple of members saying we had to do something for our front-line workers,” he said. “We had a 100,0000-Mask Challenge. We came up with some funds and applied for an International Rotary Grant.”
Leonard said they began with about $45,000 but were able to top the $100,000 mark.
In Michigan and in other Rotary clubs in the region, the focus was on getting masks for hospitals, he said. But on this side of the border, it wasn’t that simple.
“Here, we ran into some barriers for shipping, and the quality. We wanted to make sure we were getting what the alliance needed, so we felt this (cash donation) was a better way, and we trust Lori (Marshall, CKHA president & CEO) and her team to use it appropriately to help the front-line workers get the protection they need,” he said.
The $27,622 donation will go directly to the Foundation’s COVID-19 Healthcare Relief Fund, supporting the purchase of masks and other personal protective equipment for front-line workers, as well as CKHA’s highest priority needs.
“CKHAF is so fortunate to be supported by our Rotarians, who demonstrate incredible passion for local health care,” Greg Hetherington, Board Chair, CKHA Foundation, said in a release. “The work of the Foundation would not be possible without our partners in the community and their commitment to making a positive difference.”
“We are so appreciative of the partnership with our local Rotary Clubs, and we are truly grateful they chose to support our Foundation with these funds” says Mary Lou Crowley, President & CEO, CKHA Foundation. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with Rotary members throughout Chatham-Kent.”
Despite topping $100,000, Leonard said Rotarians aren’t done.
“The campaign will continue, and Chatham-Kent clubs will receive their shares as it continues to grow,” he said, meaning more support for the CKHA from Rotary will be on the way.
District 6380 is a 54 Rotary Club district covering the area of Chatham-Kent and Livingston, Oakland, Macomb, and Washtenaw Counties in Michigan.