Bringing a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine to Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is a top priority for the Midland hospital, and Bayport Masonic Lodge is helping to boost fundraising efforts with a $50,000 match gift. From June 23 to August 11, 2023, Bayport Lodge and its members, have pledged to match donations to the Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) Foundation MRI Fund, up to a total of $50,000.
Bayport Masonic Lodge has been a contributing part of the community since 1883, making significant investments in St. Andrew’s Hospital, Huronia District Hospital and Georgian Bay General Hospital in that time.
“Our members have always felt very strongly about supporting our hospital,” says David Walker, treasurer, Bayport Lodge. “We are inviting the community to join us, and we will match gifts up to a total of $50,000 for the next 50 days. Collectively, our gifts will get us closer to bringing an MRI to GBGH, and ensuring our local hospital is a centre of imaging excellence.”
In December, the Ontario government announced it would provide annual operating funding of $880,000 to GBGH for an MRI. This will allow the hospital to provide approximately 2,000 MRIs per year — as soon as they can afford to purchase the machine. Provincial funding will not cover the cost to purchase the machine or renovate the hospital and install the device.
“Currently, just shy of 4,000 patients are travelling a minimum of 40km each way to get an MRI, whether in Barrie, Orillia or even further,” says Nicole Kraftscik, CEO, GBGH Foundation. “This investment from Bayport Lodge is helping to ensure that people in our community can receive this vital diagnostic service close to home.”
The Foundation has a goal to raise $4-million over the next two years, to ensure the hospital can proceed with the purchase and installation of the MRI in 2025. As of June 15, more than $389,000 has been raised toward the goal.
“We are grateful to the members of Bayport Lodge for initiating this incredible match gift,” says Kraftscik. “There has been so much positive support for the MRI thus far, and we know that with the community coming alongside us, we can achieve our fundraising goal. We hope everyone will join in and donate $50K in 50 days!”
Anyone interested in having their donation to the MRI matched can visit https://gbghf.ca/bayport-lodge-mri.