Despite a crazy and tumultuous 2020, Windy Slopes Health Foundation persevered and had a successful year, purchasing several new pieces of equipment for the Pincher Creek hospital.
The year began with half a new board of trustees for the foundation after several members retired or stepped down for personal reasons. Maggie Olson became chairwoman and Reona Erickson took over the role of administrative assistant from Natalie Barfuss, who moved on to another job.
Suddenly, the Covid-19 pandemic struck Alberta and all face-to-face meetings were being moved online and held via Zoom.
“We not only were getting used to new trustees and myself being the new chairperson, but then we had to do Zoom meetings, and I’m afraid I’m an old lady and it was quite the experience,” Maggie says with a chuckle. “We’ve done very, very well with it.”
A generous $10,000 donation from Twin Butte resident Phil Rickard went toward keeping patients at the hospital connected to loved ones through the purchase of iPads and mobile phones, as well as general comfort items. Windy Slopes donated $1,000 of the funds to Aakom-Kiyii Health Services in Brocket.
The pandemic couldn’t stop businesses from holding their annual charity events for the foundation, either. Tim Hortons donated proceeds from its weeklong Smile cookie campaign, and Co-op Gas Bar raised funds through its annual Fuel Good Day. Pincher Creek Credit Union also showed its community-minded giving spirit and donated roller boards.
Several service groups in the area displayed their true colours with generous donations. These groups include the Pincher Cowley Roaring Lions, Cowley Lions, and Pincher Creek Lions.
“They all came through with donations still, even in the Covid world,” says Maggie. “We were very blessed to still have their support.”
Workers at the Pincher Creek Health Centre participated in the WinWin Staff Lottery. The 50-50 is held across Alberta, with half the proceeds going to the winner’s local health foundation. Last year, two winners were chosen, one of whom happened to be from Pincher Creek. Because of this, Windy Slopes Health Foundation received over $8,000.
Throughout the year, the foundation applied for several grants, and received general donations from residents of the Pincher Creek area, including an in-trust donation from an estate. Grants were awarded by Shell and Canada Growers, and an application was sent to Alberta Health Services, but nothing has been heard yet.
Normally, Windy Slopes also applies for a grant through Pieridae Energy, but was unable to do so last year due to a capital equipment freeze.
“Right when their deadlines were due, we didn’t have any equipment that we could actually let them know about … so we had to just hold on that,” says Maggie.
Though the health foundation’s annual casino couldn’t be held in 2020, it was still able to use funds left over from the 2019 event to purchase equipment for the hospital.
Considering the worldwide pandemic, Maggie says Windy Slopes was flabbergasted by the success it had last year. In fact, donation numbers were nearly on par with previous years.
“We are so lucky. We have so many such generous, generous people,” adds Maggie.
Windy Slopes Health Foundation capped off 2020 with its Trees of Hope campaign, which proved to be highly successful.
Thanks to everyone’s support, the foundation was able to purchase $46,337.81 worth of equipment, which will greatly benefit Pincher Creek Health Centre.