Arlene McGinnis, Chair of Tofino Hospital Foundation, and Mike Jacobsen, manager at Shelter Restaurant, accept a $2,500 cheque from Telus representative Andrew Hoffman at the Hospital fundraiser on Friday. (Photo - Adam Chilton)

Arlene McGinnis, Chair of Tofino Hospital Foundation, and Mike Jacobsen, manager at Shelter Restaurant, accept a $2,500 cheque from Telus representative Andrew Hoffman at the Hospital fundraiser on Friday. (Photo - Adam Chilton)

Tofino raises $120,000 for hospital

“We didn’t anticipate doing that well.”

The Tofino General Hospital is set to receive some new medical equipment thanks to April 21’s wildly successful community fundraising event held at Shelter Restaurant.

The third annual hospital fundraiser garnered over $120,000, which more than doubles the amount of money raised last year.

Tofino General Hospital (TGH) Foundation chair Arlene McGinnis said she was overwhelmed by the amount of community support they received.

“It was unexpected. We didn’t anticipate doing that well. We had a couple of extremely generous donations that came in. In general, the response to the whole gala has been completely amazing,” said McGinnis.

Once again, Long Beach Lodge made a contribution of $10,000. Telus presented a cheque for $2,500 and the owners of Pacific Sands and Ocean Village Resort also made a generous donation.

Shelter Restaurant played host to the event, donating all the food, bar revenue, and wait staff.

Restaurant manager Mike Jacobsen said it wasn’t hard to find willing staff to sign-on to the event.

“There’s a gentleman that works at the Wickaninnish Inn who wanted to donate his time. He was there cooking. We had former Shelter employee that lives in Victoria come back to donate his time. There’s a district employee that came to work from Ahousaht to donate her time. A member of Ocean Village that used to work at Shelter came back to donate their time,” he said.

“The staff really believe in it and they fully support it. I think when you’re there are you feel the energy and the vibe of the night they really get behind it and feel good about donating their time.”

More than anything, Jacobsen said it was a fun night.

“Part of the magic of the night is that it’s uniquely Tofino. You have to live in the community and appreciate the fun that people have,” he said, adding that an impromptu live auction resulted in someone donating a topless haircut.

“I think it went for $1,600,” Jacobsen said.

Since 2008, the TGH Foundation has purchased about $400,000 of new hospital equipment for the Tofino General Hospital. This time around, they were raising money for a Panda Warmer valued at $35,000, a LifePak 15 defibrillator valued at $24,500 and 20 connex wall mounted vital signs monitors valued at $40,000.

Judy Michaud, TGH Foundation board member and former medical lab technician, said much of Tofino’s hospital equipment needs to be replaced.

“The Panda Warmer is labour and delivery infant incubator. Maternity is not one of the services they offer here, but babies are born here. They don’t plan to have a baby here but people do show up at the door. This is to update the equipment,” Michaud said.

“It’s one of theose things… You don’t think of it as a delivery hospital. It wouldn’t be a priority on the hospital list, but when it’s needed, it’s needed.”

McGinnis told the Westerly the event will run again next year at Shelter.

“People were asked, Do you think we should take a year off or should we do this next year? The overwhelming response was, Next year again, best party ever,” she said.

Tofino,