The Tofino Hospital Foundation helps the West Coast's local hospital thrive.

Tofino’s Shelter Restaurant to hold hospital fundraiser

Restaurant’s second annual fundraising dinner looks to match 2015’s success

Tofino’s Shelter Restaurant will host a fundraising dinner for the Tofino Hospital Foundation on April 22.

The funds raised at the dinner will go towards the purchase of a LifePak15, a state-of-the-art defibrillator valued at $25,000, for the local hospital.

This is the second annual dinner Shelter has hosted for the foundation and last year’s event brought in over $40,000, according to the foundation’s president Arlene McGinnis.

“I can’t say enough about Shelter,” McGinnis told the Westerly.

“They provide everything. They have been fantastic…They’ve been so supportive of our foundation; it’s amazing.”

She added the servers at last year’s event donated their time for the cause.

“They signed themselves off of their shift and came back to work volunteering their time to serve,” she said. “I thought that was amazing.”

McGinnis said the event was a tremendous success, in part, because of the restaurant’s social ambience.

“It’s mostly a means to relax and socialize,” she said. “I think that’s why it was so successful last year, people were able to socialize and they really enjoyed it.”

Tickets to the event are available and anyone wanting to attend can contact McGinnis at 250-725-3310.

She hopes locals answer the call to support the foundation’s vital work.

“It’s your hospital and we want the best for everybody in our communities and this helps us help the hospital and its doctors and nurses to provide the best care for the people in our communities,” she said.

She added the foundation has a small roster of dedicated volunteers who devote their time to ensure locals and visitors have access to the best care possible.

“We really do work hard for our little hospital here and we appreciate any help that we can get from the general public,” she said.

“We are an isolated community, so if you don’t support the hospital here and you’re in need of some of this special equipment that we’re trying to provide the hospital with…you’re going to have to go to Port Alberni, which is a ways away and it could affect somebody’s outcome.”

She added it is important for the hospital to have the “latest and greatest” equipment not just to be able to serve their patients effectively but also to retain high-level doctors and nurses.

She was thrilled to see Shelter step up so strongly in support and hopes other businesses recognize the value of the foundation’s work towards strengthening the West Coast’s reputation as a family vacation destination.

“It benefits local businesses to have a good hospital with good staff in our community,” she said.

“It benefits them because a lot of the activities that go on in this area are tourist related so by having nothing but the best care we can ensure visitors to our community get nothing but the best of care when they come.”

In the past eight years the foundation has raised over $350,000 for its local hospital and these funds have spawned an impressive list of new life-saving equipment including a $63,000 portable ultrasound machine, a $47,000 Arjo tub, a $38,000 fetal heart monitor and a $30,000 portable ventilator.