KELOWNA, BC – October 6, 2022. Going into the Thanksgiving Day long weekend, there is an abundance of gratitude for a generous community that came together to raise $47,797.34 in support of the 3rd annual Better Together Day for JoeAnna’s House.
Since opening in November 2019, JoeAnna’s House has provided a safe haven for hundreds of regional families needing a place to stay close to KGH while their loved ones receive advanced medical care.
Dr. Ryan Foster, an ICU physician at KGH and a member of the KGH Foundation Board of Directors shared what he called the ‘hallmark’ of what JoeAnna’s House and ‘Better Together’ day is all about. He shared the story of a former patient from the North Okanagan who suffered severe injuries, spending two weeks in the ICU and then another six months in the trauma ward. During this time, the patient’s wife was a guest at JoeAnna’s House. “She was able to be with him every day and then go back to JoeAnna’s House to rest,” said Dr. Foster. “The ability for family to stay so close is an unmeasurable part of the care plan for patients.”
Former JoeAnna’s House guest, Wendy Kelly, from Nelson, BC agrees. “When we found out my son required treatment at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH), we were at a loss,” she shares. “I have never experienced such an intersection of deep caring and at the same time, an incredible level of professionalism, as I did at JoeAnna’s House,” Wendy says. “I am incredibly grateful. And I feel like I’m beholden to them…in the best way.”
Pattison media stations 103.1 Beach Radio and 104.7 The Lizard hosted live shows from both JoeAnna’s House and Save-On-Foods Orchard Plaza, sharing more first-hand stories from JoeAnna’s House guests.
Between the Lakeview Coffee Lab truck rolling up at sunrise, PoKelowna providing delicious lunches on-site, to the incredibly energetic Sprott Shaw College Change Bandits making noise throughout the day on Pandosy to encourage gifts, the hospital campus buzzed with ‘Better Together Day’ vibes.
The vibes were also present nearby at the Orchard Plaza Save-On-Foods, where their enthusiastic team was busy accepting donations in support of Better Together Day and feeding folks who came through the Save-On-Foods sponsored drive-thru breakfast.
“We are so proud to be part of this special day,” says Scott Nazaruk, Orchard Plaza Save-On-Foods Manager. “We support everything the JoeAnna’s House stands for and it is truly heart-warming to see the community take time out of their day to support such a valuable resource for families in our region.”
Not only did Save-On-Foods sponsor and host drive-thru breakfast but locations across the region came together in support of the cause, to the tune of $4,850.
“The impact of giving to JoeAnna’s House is knowing that you’re supporting a family at probably the worst time in their life,” says Darlene Haslock, Director of JoeAnna’s House. “You are giving them such a gift, knowing that they can be beside their loved one within minutes, instead of hours, is just invaluable.”
Other friends of JoeAnna’s House demonstrated their support including Gail Harrison with Cops for Kids, an organization that played a key role in advocating for the need for JoeAnna’s House, dropping by with a $5,000 gift.
“The hands and hearts of this community came together to build JoeAnna’s House,” says KGH Foundation CEO, Allison Ramchuk. “Days like today demonstrate that kind of generosity and compassion continues.”
“We are always better together.”
For more information on JoeAnna’s House, please visit joeannashouse.com.
Since 1978, the KGH Foundation has worked with a generous community to raise funds to support world-class healthcare close to home for a rapidly expanding and diverse population in the interior of BC. Today, the KGH Foundation is the lead fundraising organization for Kelowna General Hospital and its associated facilities, JoeAnna’s House, and Central Okanagan Hospice House.