Two radiothons raise more than $260,000 for Muskoka hospitals

SMHF volunteers and staff take a donation from young Ethan [bottom right] in Bracebridge (Photo credit: Mathew Reisler)

After 12 hours, Moose FM’s two Thanksgiving Hospital Radiothons raised a combined $262,346 for our local hospitals.

From 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Friday, a rotating door of staff, volunteers, and community members went on air to share their stories and fundraise for the hospitals in Huntsville and Bracebridge.

In Huntsville, 105.5 Moose FM raised $155,046 for the Huntsville Hospital Foundation (HHF). In Bracebridge, $107,300 was raised by 99.5 Moose FM for the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation (SMHF).

[left to right] Sue Love, Katherine Craine, Brock Cunningham, and Dave James (Photo credit: Moe Kelso)
The HHF’s CEO Katherine Craine was at a loss for words.

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“I’m just out-of-this world excited, just so grateful. A little tired, but it’s amazing,” says an overwhelmed Craine. “People keep calling in and making donations. People are so amazing in this town, it’s crazy.”

The HHF’s share goes towards its $5-million Focus on Imaging Campaign, for replacements and upgrades to the hospital’s diagnostic imaging department. Aside from the obvious benefits of better diagnoses, Craine says it also shows the authorities who fund health care that people are serious about funding the hospital.

“It’s just so demonstrated out there that this community loves Huntsville Hospital. And I’m talking about the community in every way possible,” says Craine. “We’ve had people from cottage country, people that live here year-round, business owners, even visitors just coming to the park calling us with donations. So it’s the whole community, all working together for their hospital.”

At the SMHF, the fundraising total goes above and beyond the $90,000 needed to buy a new anesthesia machine.

“It’s a big deal. It’s a big machine. It’s an important machine,” says SMHF Executive Director Leah Walker. “Not a lot of surgeries could happen without the anesthesia machine, so we’re glad that we’re going to be able to purchase one with support from today.”

Walker says they can put the additional funds towards other items on their long list of needed equipment. She says they’re absolutely thrilled by the outcome, but not surprised.

“It got very busy, very exciting times. But as usual, Muskoka came through for us,” says Walker. “I didn’t doubt that we would hit it with our generous community, but we are very thrilled and very grateful.”

Both Craine and Walker thanked everyone who donated, sponsored, called in, or stopped by, as well as the staff at Moose FM.

You’re still able to donate to both foundations through Huntsville and South Muskoka’s websites.