Penticton News

South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation's fundraising efforts continue as Tree of Dreams campaign gets underway

Funds raised from the South Okanagan Similkameen Hospital Foundation's Tree of Dreams Campaign will all go towards the hospital tower equipment fund.
Image Credit: Contributed

PENTICTON - The South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation moved into its Christmas fund raising mode this week as it launched its annual Tree of Dreams campaign.

Foundation executive director Janice Perrino says the generosity of the community has been overwhelming, as the fund to fully equip the new hospital patient care tower continues growing on a hourly basis.

“We have at total of $5,178,247 in the bank, and more in pledges,” Perrino says.

“We are just thrilled to be there, but we still have another $15 million to go,” she adds.

Perrino says the funds will be used to purchase all the equipment for the new wing, with the hospital being built in two phases over five years.

“The first phase is the tower with clinics, operating rooms, patient bedrooms, parked and helipad,” Perrino says. The first phase will take about three years, then the second phase will see expansion of the emergency room to four times its present size.

Perrino says some donations are being pledged up to the five-year building period, a practice the society is fine with.

“It’s however people feel comfortable with donating,” she says, noting the society will be paying out lump sums as construction progresses, in order to pay for equipment infrastructure that needs to be installed during the construction phase.

Perrino noted hospital equipment doesn’t come at discount rates, citing prices of $75,000 for operating room lights and $12,000 per bed as examples of the types of costs that will be incurred for the new wing.

The Tree of Dreams campaign is an annual foundation fundraiser. All proceeds from this year’s campaign will go to the hospital expansion project. The campaign covers every household and business in the city, making a request for a donation during the Christmas season.

“Every donation counts. They are all important,” says Perrino.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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