Volunteer association pledges $1 million to Groves hospital campaign

It’s a promise for the future, to support the new Groves Memorial Community Hospital.

On May 16, the Groves Hospital Volunteer Association (GHVA) pledged $1-million over the next decade to support the new hospital to be built on the Wellington Place lands in Aboyne.

Groves Hospital Foundation executive director Lori Arsenault called it an exciting day, “and we’re thrilled to share this exciting announcement with the community.”

Wayne Hyland, president of the GHVA, said, “This announcement is due to the efforts of a lot of volunteers over the last number of years … since 1933.”

The volunteer efforts look after the needs of those in the hospital getting treatment and helping the medical staff, Hyland said, adding volunteers are in the gift shop providing a friendly face.

He said there is a lot of work at the New to You shop in all aspects of the operation.

Hyland noted that since its inception, the association has contributed over $3-million to the hospital.

“That indeed is a tremendous success,” he said.

“The big announcement today is that we are committing another $1-million pledge over 10 years to go towards the new hospital.”

Hyland anticipates within the next couple of years residents will see a lot of construction at the new site in Aboyne.

Groves Hospital Foundation chair Hugh Calderwood offered a big thank you to Hyland and all the volunteers “for their amazing contribution today.”

“This contribution brings us to over $9-million raised for the new hospital building, which is an incredible number so far,” said Calderwood.

“It is going to be wonderful when we move in a couple of years from now.”

Calderwood noted that since 1933, the volunteer association has contributed in numerous ways, starting with the original $8 donation for a ringer-washer.

“Since then, the GHVA has supported the purchase of hospital beds, equipment for the operating room, ultrasound machinery. It’s absolutely incredible,” he said.

“Our hospital and what it’s done for this community could not have been done without all the volunteers and their support throughout the years.”

Hospital president and CEO Steve Street said he considered it a great day to stand near the site where the new hospital will be constructed.

“On behalf of the hospital, we’d really like to thank Hyland and the volunteer association for their great efforts,” Street said.

“It is always a struggle to stay current with medical technology and we are only able to do that through the gracious, great donations from every volunteer.”

He pointed to the 250 men, women and youth involved in the association,  providing 32,000 hours of service each year.

“On behalf of the patients, staff and the board and management  – a true thank-you,” said Street. “It’s astounding the work that you do.”

Groves chief of staff Dr. Rick Gergovich expressed his gratitude on the donation.

“All I can say is … Wow,” said Gergovich, calling it not just an expression of financial generosity, but also the generosity of spirit and time.

“You must know you are so much part of the family of our great hospital,” he told the volunteers.

Gergovich said he was around at the time of the campaign seeking funds for a CT scanner for Groves.

At that time, contributions of the GHVA put fundraising over the top.

“This time, you are building a new house for the CT scanner,” said Gergovich.

“On behalf of the medical staff and everyone in the hospital – thank you so much.”

Centre Wellington Mayor Kelly Linton said “it is so exciting to hear about another million dollars being given to the hospital.

“There is not one other thing that this town is more proud of than its hospital.”

He said that is evident in the number of volunteers and the thousands of hours donated each year.

Linton said he can’t wait to see the new construction begin.

“It’s been a long time in coming and there’s been a lot of hard work gone into this,” the mayor noted.

He said it is everyone working together that makes the new hospital  such an amazing project.

“It is something the community can be proud of,” he added.