© Jocelyn Turner - Amherst Daily News
Grandmother Marie MacDonald (from left) and her grandchildren Meghan MacDonald, Sophie Coates and Kenzie Crossman danced around to the music and flashing lights during the Light the Way’s light up ceremony Wednesday night. The fundraiser helps raise money for the hospital to purchase new equipment
AMHERST – The Cumberland Regional Health Care centre lit up their courtyard last night during their Light the Way light up ceremony. Patients, and their friends and families were on hand to enjoy the music from the Amherst Regional High School Grade 10 band, the E.B. Chandler choir, face painters and some visits from some special Christmas characters.
“The turnout so far is wonderful,” said Cumberland Health Care Foundation managing director Gwen Kerr. “We advertised to start at 5:30 p.m., it’s not even that time yet and we’ve got a couple hundred people here already.”
The hospital is looking to purchase a new laser for their ophthalmology department and a drug dispensing system for the emergency department. Since the fundraising for the new hospital equipment began, Kerr said they’ve already surpassed the halfway mark.
“We are now over $88,000 of our $100,000 goal,” she said. “We’re so excited about that. This equipment is very important to the hospital and we’re doing our best to make it happen.”
Cumberland County warden Keith Hunter was on hand to enjoy the festivities and make a donation to the cause. Hunter said the hard work put into the night of Christmas fun is amazing.
“It’s a lot good volunteer work that does it,” he said. “But another thing is that the community gets together and donates and they’ve raised thousands and thousands of dollars for the Health Care Foundation here and that all goes into purchasing equipment to give us better health care.”
The warden presented the foundation with a cheque for $1,000.
Jordan Janes, one of the children who came out for the cookies, face painting and music, said she had a great time.
“I like coming here and always come here with my grandparents usually every year,” she said. “I like seeing all the people and the mascots and I like watching the lights and the face painting. I like having my face painted.”
She said the music was good and the cookies were worth making the annual appearance.
First time visitor to the ceremony Marie MacDonald brought her grandchildren to the ceremony. She said she and her grandchildren had a lot of fun.
“I loved it. The lights were beautiful, the costumes were great,” she said. “The kids had their eyes wide open. They loved the lights. Oh yes, we’ll be back next year.”
The Light the Way fundraiser continues until Dec. 31. The light display will be up and running at the hospital until after the holiday season.