Pictured Above: The Christmas Wish Tree was illuminated and members of the Brio Academy Choir regaled the crowd with Christmas carols during the Tree Lighting Ceremony at the CKHA Chatham Site on December 14th.
It was a memorable season of giving for the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation’s (CKHAF) 34th annual Christmas Wish Tree, presented by WFCU Credit Union. Launching in late November and running throughout the Holiday season, this year’s campaign raised a grand total of $170,375, far surpassing the Foundation’s goal for this Holiday fundraiser that has become a beloved Christmas tradition in Chatham-Kent over the past three decades.
“It has been such a privilege to witness the generosity of this wonderful community throughout the Holiday season in support of our Christmas Wish Tree campaign,” stated Christine Mitchell, CKHAF President & CEO. “It takes a special, thoughtful, and caring community to cultivate a cherished local fundraiser like this over so many years, and that’s exactly what we have here in Chatham-Kent. With the immense support of our donors and partners, we were able to far exceed our fundraising goal this year, and this truly means the world to us.”
The funds raised will be invested in life-changing equipment, program innovation, and facility upgrades at CKHA’s Chatham and Wallaceburg sites, enabling world-class healthcare here in Chatham-Kent. Equipment and facilities funded by the Foundation in 2023 have enhanced care across a wide variety of programs at CKHA, including the Mental Health & Addictions Program, the Women & Children’s Program, the Dialysis Unit, Diagnostic Imaging and more.
“Every donation made to the Christmas Wish Tree campaign will make a real difference for hospital patients from across our community, as well as their loved ones,” said Bob Hockney, CKHAF Board Chair. “Thanks to this support, our Foundation will continue to make crucial investments in our local hospital sites, allowing us to remain responsive and adaptable in our commitment to delivering the highest possible level of care.”
The Foundation was proud to have the strong support of WFCU Credit Union as Presenting Sponsor of this year’s Christmas Wish Tree campaign. The success of the campaign was also made possible by the support of many other community partners, including Western Equipment Limited, WINMAR Property Restoration Specialists – Chatham, Honey Electric Limited, Fairway Wealth Management, Jayden Construction, Progressive Ford, Salus Mutual, and TekSavvy Solutions Inc.
As per tradition, the Foundation was joined by community members and CKHA staff for the Christmas Wish Tree lighting ceremonies at CKHA’s Wallaceburg and Chatham sites on December 13th and 14th. During these ceremonies, which were once again televised via a partnership with YourTV Chatham, representatives from the Foundation, hospital, and WFCU Credit Union rang in the Holiday season and honoured the memory of loved ones from across our community. A special tribute was also delivered in honour of Dr. Don Patterson, a beloved local physician who passed away in 2023.
“The overwhelming success of this year’s Christmas Wish Tree campaign is yet another testament to the incredible culture of generosity that exists here in Chatham-Kent, and I’d like to thank all those who contribute to this culture, helping us to build a healthier community,” stated Lori Marshall, President & CEO of CKHA. “I was delighted to be a part of both tree lighting ceremonies and, in particular, to honour the life and legacy of Dr. Patterson, who was a true pillar of our community and a strong supporter of our Foundation and hospital for many years.”
“We are so thankful to the Foundation for their dedication and tireless efforts in raising crucial funds for our hospital,” added Deb Crawford, CKHA Board Chair. “This was yet another great success that will have a positive impact on patient care at CKHA.”
This annual fundraiser encourages community members to make donations in honour or in memory of loved ones, while the lighting of the Christmas Wish Trees offers a symbolic way to honour those individuals throughout the Holiday season. Generous donors honoured more than 500 family members, friends and loved ones from across our community and beyond throughout this year’s campaign.
“From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone who donated to this year’s fundraiser and who joined us for our magical tree lighting ceremonies,” Mitchell said. “As a Foundation, we are filled with so much hope and excitement for all that we will accomplish together in this new year. Your warmth and generosity will carry us through the cold winter months ahead as we continue to work tirelessly to connect all of Chatham-Kent in support of high-quality healthcare in our local hospital sites.”