’Burg Rotarians donate to CKHA, close down

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation President and CEO Mary Lou Crowley accepts a cheque for $143,420.71 from Mike Zell on behalf of the Rotary Club of Wallaceburg recently.

In a final act of kindness, a former local Rotary Club is helping to fund the purchase of a new and much-needed piece of diagnostic imaging equipment at Wallaceburg’s hospital.

The Rotary Club of Wallaceburg donated the remaining $143,420.71 from its trust fund to the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation (CKHAF) on Dec. 30, making it the very last donation the club will make in its seven-decade history.

While last year marked the Rotary Club’s 75th anniversary in Wallaceburg, members made the decision to disband at the end of December due to declining membership.

“Wallaceburg Rotarians have spent the last 75 years supporting patients when they needed it the most, and this recent donation is no different,” said CKHAF President and CEO Mary Lou Crowley in a media release. “Their generosity has helped to ensure the municipality has the highest quality health care possible.”

That generosity will also be felt locally for years to come, with the Rotary Club’s final donation going towards the purchase of a portable X-ray machine for the CKHA’s Wallaceburg site. The piece of diagnostic imaging equipment will replace the current outdated X-ray machine at the hospital.

“It is bittersweet to accept such a tremendous donation and, at the same time, to say goodbye to the Wallaceburg Rotary Club, which has been active in the community for so many years,” said Lori Marshall, President & CEO at CKHA and a fellow Rotarian in Chatham. “The group’s contributions have had a lasting impact on the entire Chatham-Kent community and they will be missed.”

The portable X-ray machine will allow physicians to view scans immediately by way of a digital screen, rather than having to send the image to the diagnostic imaging department for processing. The portable nature of the unit will also allow it to be used on patients who are unable to go to the diagnostic imaging department due to an unstable condition or an infection control risk.

Over its 75-year history, the Wallaceburg Rotary Club has made numerous donations to fundraising initiatives and campaigns at Chatham-Kent’s two hospital sites, including the Physician Recruitment Campaign in the 1990s, the MRI Campaign in 2008, and the Diagnostic Imaging Fund for the Wallaceburg site in 2012.

The funds donated to CKHA from the trust were raised through the sale of the Rotary Club Happy Craft Building in Wallaceburg.

“We wanted to end things on a high note,” said Mike Zell, Chair of the Charitable Trust for the Rotary Club of Wallaceburg. “The Wallaceburg site of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance is such an important part of our town and there was no better way to close out our 75th anniversary.”




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