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Olds Health Care Fundraising Committee beats target

Official announces during April 30 Dueling Pianos event in Olds that the $130,000 fundraising goal was beat by at least $2,000
MVT Dueling pianos Olds
Patrick McGannon and Jesse Peters of the Dueling Piano Kings played suggestions from the crowd during an Olds Health Care Fundraising Committee event April 30 at the Cow Palace. Doug Collie/MVP Staff

OLDS — The Olds Health Care Fundraising Committee (OHCFC) has surpassed its goal to raise $130,000 for purchase four panda warmers for the Olds Hospital and Care Centre.  

During its Dueling Pianos fundraiser April 30 in the ORE Cow Palace, OHCFC chair Liz Mills announced that the committee had raised $132,000. 

Each panda warmer allows physicians and staff to monitor, access and care for these newborns, making sure they’re warm, safe and healthy –all in one state-of-the-art piece of equipment. 

Dueling Pianos was the committee’s first live, in-person fundraiser in two years, due to COVID-19 restrictions. Last year, they held a silent auction via Rosehill Auction Service & Olds Auction Mart on Facebook Live. 

“Do you know what? After tonight, we have raised $132,000 for the four panda warmers. We’ve done it,” Mills said, spurring loud applause. “So thank you very much.” 

On behalf of the Olds Hospital and Care Centre and Alberta Health Services, Jaco Hoffman, chief of the Olds Hospital medical staff, thanked committee members for all their hard work and donors for their generosity. 

“To say that we’ve experienced a tough two years would definitely be an understatement. This pandemic has put pressure on our physicians, our staff, our site, our facilities, and this community as a whole,” he said. 

“However, through it all, we have witnessed the ongoing, strong commitment of many individuals who believe in supporting our hospital, and the families and their patients.” 

Hoffman called volunteers “the backbone” of any community. 

“When partners such as yourself combine forces to enhance health care, I can promise you everyone benefits,” he said. 

Hoffman said the panda warmers “will benefit our most precious resource, and that’s our newborns.” 

“These essential devices provide the best first step for our newborns and also gives peace of mind to their parents and we are eternally grateful for that," said Hoffman. 

“It is truly inspiring to be in the company of people who are committed to enhancing health care of central Albertans, like each and every one of you.

"I want you to know the real difference that you make in the comfort and care of your neighbours, your friends and your loved ones. Sincerely, thank you for all you do.”  

Patrick McGannon and Jesse Peters of the Dueling Piano Kings sparked applause when they announced they were donating tips they received back to the OHCFC. 

McGannon and Peters joked about the name of the venue. 

“When Jesse and I found out we were playing a venue called The Cow Palace, it was all we could talk about,” McGannon said. 

They said the Olds venue was “way classier” than one in Balzac, where they said, “they didn’t even move the cows out while we were playing. So we’re grateful.” 

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