Light the Way hospital fundraiser

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Gwen Kerr


AMHERST – The view out the broad windows was partially obscured by raindrops on glass.

“It’s a big job…but it’s fun,” said Gwen Kerr.

The Cumberland Health Care Foundation’s 15th annual Light the Way event will occur Nov. 28. Setting up the display of almost 1,000 lights on the lawn outside the windows wouldn’t be much fun in a rainstorm, but hopefully the crew tasked with the job – a mix of IT people, maintenance crew, and committee members (“I’m out there, too,” said the managing director) – will get better weather.

Donors sponsor lights in the display. According to publicity material, two bucks is enough for a child to sponsor a yellow light. White lights go for $10, red for $20. At the high end of the spectrum, a large guardian angel ornament costs $1,000, while larger sums can be donated to sponsor some of the events being held with the light ceremony.

Kerr said some people buy one light, others three or four. The lights are sponsored in honour of someone. In some cases, many cases, it’s a memorial to a departed love one. But a sponsorship can also be made to honour a friend or loved one, or even just because, according to the organizer.

A night of lights, entertainment, music, snacks and Christmas cheer can be profitable for the not-for-profit.

“It was $100,000 last year,” said the managing director.

The money raised covered a contribution to a new CT scanner, as well as the purchase of a life signs monitoring system and a newborn security system – anklets put on infants to ensure no one can leave the maternity ward with a baby without alerting staff.

Kerr hopes to raise a similar amount this November. A new ophthalmology laser is on the hospital’s wish list, as well as a contribution to an automated medication management system for the ER.

“This laser replaces an old one,” said Kerr, which will provide patients with the latest technology, save money currently used to maintain discontinued technology, and allow the health care centre to refer fewer patients for treatment elsewhere.

The medication system is a recommendation from a report on improving the ER. Medications and inventory numbers are managed electronically with the unit.

“There’s no extra doses being distributed,” said Kerr.

The ER equipment will improve safety and accuracy and save time, according to Kerr.

The foundation can be found online at, or call 667-5400 x6210.


Organizations: Way hospital, Cumberland Health Care Foundation

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