Bring TOM to Town radiothon fundraiser exceeds expectations for local hospital


After a long but amazing 12-hour day on December 9th, the Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation radiothon fundraiser held at 97.9the Bruce radio station in Port Elgin, is one step closer to bringing a CT scanner to the community and the region.

What was traditionally known as ‘Light the Way’ campaign became this year, the “Bring TOM to Town” campaign.  The campaign was to help reach a goal that would help in the cost of purchasing the Computed TOMography equipment (CT scanner) and software, installation of the CT and minor renovations at the hospital to ensure the area meets safety and infection control requirements.computed TOMography (CT).

               James Scongack

Honourary Chairs for the ‘Light the Way – Bring Tom to Town’ fundraiser this year were James Scongack and wife, Jenny.  James Scongack, Chief Development Officer & Executive Vice President, Operational Services of Bruce Power, as Chair, had the opportunity to become a radio DJ-for-a-day when he manned the mic for the Bruce Power ‘Power Hour’ taking calls and, with what was obviously a ‘gift for gab’, kept the calls moving while at the same time contacting his wide network of colleagues and doing on-air interviews.

While people called in their pledges or donated on-line, many dropped by the station in person to make their donations and enjoy the fun and camaraderie around the radiothon.  With food donated by the many businesses in the community, such as Tim Horton’s, Boston Pizza, Pizza Delight and sweets prepared by residents, visitors not only had the chance to donate but also to have a snack.

  (L) Connor and Lachlan Brown stopped in with a                  donation of $100 they had raised

Waiting for the calls, ‘teams’ of volunteers, from the community and beyond, manned the phone lines.

For larger view, Click on Image

  MP Lobb Port Elgin Constituent Office  Mgr. Pat O’Connor took to                             the mic

Among the phone calls, were those from Huron Bruce MP Ben Lobb in Ottawa and Bruce Power President & CEO Mike Rencheck.

Lobb said that rural communities should have the same high level service that is found in cities.  “My own mother worked in Seaforth and Clinton in hospital X-rays and saw the many changes of technology that resulted in so many improvements.  My father had a heart attack and, if it weren’t for local a local hospital, he would not have survived.  Will i be contributing to this campaign? Absolutely.”

Rencheck donated on behalf of both he and his wife Carol.  “This is so important to the community,” he said.  Scongack said that it was under the leadership of Rencheck that many Bruce Power suppliers also donated to the campaign.

At the end of the day, as the clock wound down to the deadline of 6:00 p.m., calls came in fast and furriest with last minute donations.

Foundation Executive Director, Tracy Murray said emotionally, “It was the power of radio and the power of the community coming together that made this possible. The Foundation is so fortunate and grateful once again to have our local radio station, 97.9the Bruce partner with us for this event. The radiothon wouldn’t happen if it weren’t for the support of Bayshore Broadcasting and Bruce Telecom, also a key partner for this event in setting up and donating the call-in telephone lines and the entire community who always steps up.”

The total at the end of the day was an unexpected $240,550, with more pledges expected to come in and the campaign running until the end of December, a final total is not yet in.

For more information or to donate to the CT scanner fundraising campaign visit OR contact Tracy Murray, Executive Director of the Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation 226-930-1114.