Hospital Foundation fundraiser returns after 10-year hiatus

Thanks to a generous area merchant, the cost of helping out the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation has not gone up one bit

Sidney town councillor Keny Podmore and Fire Chief Jim Tweedhope hold the license plate holders that are helping raise money for the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation’s CT scanner campaign.

Thanks to a generous area merchant, the cost of helping out the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation has not gone up one bit over the last 10 years.

Sidney town councillor Kenny Podmore says Michael Mason has provided him with custom license plate holders — decked out with the names of the three Saanich Peninsula communities — at the same cost he did when the fundraiser first ran in 2004.

“They were $10 per pair 10 years ago and there’s been no inflation over a decade,” joked Podmore during a media opportunity at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital on March 20.

Back then, he said the fundraiser earned the Foundation more than $7,000. This time, Podmore said he’s hoping that since more people have come on board, they can eclipse that amount.

Money raised by sales of the license plate holders — with Central Saanich, North Saanich and Sidney all in bold — will go towards the Foundation’s annual campaign. They have set a goal of more than $2.5 million to buy a state-of-the-art CT scanner for the hospital. Foundation board President Gordon Benn says the scanner will keep the hospital on the cutting edge of patient treatment.

“Everything helps,” Benn added. “It allows citizens to be able to contribute to the campaign.”

To date, the Foundation has raised around $1.6 million in the campaign.

Podmore said he has been asked many times when the license plate holders would make a comeback, so decided now was the right time.

“It’s a little hospital with a lot of heart,” he said.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will also go to the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, which has agreed to sell the holders out of its sidney Visitor Centre on Beacon Avenue. Chamber board President Ian Brown says they are proud they’re able to contribute to the effort.

Podmore used the launch of the fundraiser to highlight the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The first license plate holder was affixed to Betsy — the department’s 1934 antique Ford fire truck.

The license plate holders are available at the offices of both the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation and the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Sidney and District of North Saanich municipal offices, the tourist information centre on Beacon Avenue and directly from both Kenny Podmore and Sharon Bolton of Verico Select Mortgage in Sidney.

Anyone wishing to make an additional contribution to the Foundation can mail a cheque payable to the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation, 2166 Mt. Newton X Road, Saanichton, B.C. V8M 2B2, or can call in their donation on their credit card to 250 652-7531. All donations (except those for license plate holders) are eligible for a tax receipt.

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