A letter inspired an entire community to join forces to raise $3,558.50 in support of Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital’s battle against COVID-19.
Dr. Rebecca Van Iersel, Medical Team Lead of Soldiers’ COVID Unit, authored a letter to the public back in March, requesting support for donations to fund COVID-related expenses, like additional ventilators, personal protection equipment and medical supplies at the Hospital.
Upon receiving that message, Bayshore Village resident, Gordon Smith, was inspired to take action. “I thought, I could send a donation or I could do something bigger,” he said. “I approached our community association and we decided to host a charity car wash.”
A third of the small community, located on the northeastern shores of Lake Simcoe, participated in the July 18th car wash that raised just over $3,500 during the 8 hour day.
Smith was pleased with the turnout and credits his long list of helpers for the day’s great success. “Of our 320 residents, we had over 110 come through the car wash,” shared Smith. “I guess our signs worked and we got the word out! There are a lot of people to thank and I just can’t name them all.”
Kaitlyn St. Pierre and Lisa Wanamaker, both development officers with the OSMH Foundation, were on hand to help out with collecting donations and sharing information about Soldiers’ ongoing COVID-19 efforts. “It was a beautiful day for this kind of event and so great to see this small, but mighty village rallying behind this important cause,” Wanamaker explained. “We don’t have an end in sight for this pandemic just yet, so events like this— that follow all precautions and can still raise thousands of dollars — are so beneficial for the health of our whole community,” added St. Pierre.