April an important month for health trust

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April will be an important month financially for the Sheep River Health Trust.

The organization is gearing up for two major fundraising initiatives this month, a new major sponsorship program and an annual radio-thon fundraiser.

“It is a big month for us, April is our primary fundraising month and this event is our key event,” said Tanya Thorn, the health trust’s fund development officer.

The trust launched its new Health Champions program, with four exclusive sponsors signing up for a three-year commitment of $5,000 per year. The program will see sponsors donate $15,000 each and bring the health trust a total of $60,000 over the next three years.

Century 21 Foothills was the first to sign up with a $5,000 donation and they were joined by United Communities and Okotoks Ford. A fourth is still pending.

“We support health and wellness in the Foothills region and these types of donations make a huge impact in our community,” said Thorn.

Donations to the health trust support facilities at the Oilfields Hospital in Black Diamond and the Okotoks Health and Wellness Centre. The trust has also supported the cancer clinic at the High River Hospital.

Funds also support a variety of programs focused on five key areas – families, children and youth, seniors, medical equipment and community care programs.

“It’s a big impact for our organization and all the dollars we receive in donations all come back to the organization supporting various health initiatives,” said Thorn.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure for the organization.

“Health and wellness remains important to everyone in this community,” she said. “It’s a primary need and so we really try and focus on being pro-active in the programming.”

Donating $15,000 over three years to the health trust is a good investment for supporters of the new sponsorship program.

Blair Gordon, broker and owner of Century 21 Foothills, said the Health Trust touches the lives of countless people across the Foothills.

“It’s not just one hospital, it’s not just one building or one event, it has touched so many things,” he said. “You could go through the list.”

Gordon said the agency has been a strong supporter of the health trust in the past and he is proud to now be a new major sponsor.

He said his father spent time in the Oilfields Hospital in Black Diamond and he wants to give back to support health care in the community.

“They do so many things throughout the whole Foothills area and it’s the whole Foothills area that we’re all about,” said Gordon. “That’s it in a nutshell.”

Steven LePan, marketing director for United Communities, said they are supporting health services for people who come to call the communities they build home.

“The work that the Sheep River Health Trust is doing is really important in the community and for us, as developers of communities in Okotoks, we have a common vision and that’s for healthy, happy families in the region,” he said. “Contributing to health and wellness is pretty important to us.”

The company is the developer of the Drake Landing community and purchased the D’Arcy Ranch and Wedderburn lands in Northwest Okotoks for future development.

The health trust will also be holding a 14-hour radio-thon on April 16 on the Eagle 100.9 to raise funds. People can also sign up to be a health hero, providing a monthly contribution to the organization.

Thorn is hopeful April 2015 will be a month to remember at the health trust. The trust raised $37,000 with its fundraising initiatives in April 2015 and she’s targeting $50,000 for this month, including the radio-thon.

“If we can come out of the month, for me if we can come out at $50,000 to $65,000, it’s a good increase for us off of last year and especially in a down economy,” said Thorn.

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