Spirit of Giving

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10 reasons we love our donors

Happy Valentine’s Day! Donors are an essential part of making the IWK the centre of excellence that it is today. We are so thankful for their love and generosity! This Valentine’s Day, our staff members at the IWK Foundation wanted to let our supporters know exactly why we love them. 

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10 reasons why we love our donors.

1 – I love the passion so many of our donors have for the IWK. They are fiercely dedicated to the cause and they understand the direct impact their giving has on patients and staff.  It’s a beautiful thing! ~ Carla Adams, Principal Communications Strategist

2 Our donors provide more than money – they give passion, energy, and expertise! ~ Molly Cotter, Director of Finances and Donor Services

3 – They  not only give, they can go above and beyond, volunteering their time and efforts beyond the financial. They’re so happy to give to total strangers! It really is inspiring. ~ Christie Moore, Major Gifts Officer

4 – I love our donors because they help the staff at the IWK make miracles happen! – Lynda Moffatt,  Development Officer – Cape Breton and Eastern Nova Scotia 

5 I am very grateful and love our many donor’s who, because they care, are quietly having an impact on the quality of health care we have come to expect from the IWK; they help to ensure that this level of excellence can continue well into the future. Their continued support is both humbling and vital. ~ Mary Theresa Ross, Manger of Planned Giving 

6 – They inspire me to be more giving.  ~ Trena Crewe, Director of Donor Relations

7 – I love our donors because they give children hope. ~ David Huett, Donor Service Specialist

8 – I love our donors because they care about the IWK as much as we do. Their donations are special and come from the heart. We both share the same the goal, to make the IWK the place possible for Maritime children, women and their families. ~ Andrew Paris, Administrative Assistant/Receptionist 

9 – I love our donors for their spirit of generosity and support for Maritime families.  ~ Natalie Foster, Database & Donor Services Administrator

10 – I love our donors because beyond the financial support they provide, they provide the most important gift of all:  hope. ~ Geoffrey Milder, Development Officer, Mainland NS & Children’s Miracle Network Program Director

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to every one of our supporters. You are part of everything we do. 

Make a gift to the IWK Foundation.

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Making a change in the world

Shanyn, Maddy, Jessica, and Luna

Shanyn, Maddy, Jessica, and Luna

At the beginning of the school year we got our class outline. On it, our expectations and our teacher’s goal for this semester was for us to do something to change something in the world, whether it was big or small.  A couple of us got together and figured out a great cause we wanted to help.  I loved the idea of the IWK, it was so important in our community and they saved two of our group member’s lives.  Neither of us would have been here if it weren’t for their help!  We had a goal of $500 to raise for them.  We wanted to make sure that the IWK would always be there to help children like us.  In our school, in the community of Liverpool, on October 24th, we had a bake sale. Altogether we raised $125 for that day and scheduled a bottle drive for the 2nd and 3rd of November.  In the freezing cold we managed to raise $380 which was just enough to reach our goal.  We were so glad to be able to give them $505 towards the kids that needed our help.  We drove into the IWK one day and did the cheque presentation.  The girl that assisted us from the start was very helpful, and I am glad that we chose this charity.

We had a great journey with the IWK and loved every step of the way.

Shanyn, Maddy, Jessica, and Luna

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Your support REALLY makes a difference.

National Philanthropy Day, on November 15th , is an especially meaningful day to the IWK Foundation.  It allows us to recognize and celebrate our donors for their year-round philanthropy in support of the IWK. The following is written by Brenda Murchison, mom to IWK patient, Parker.

Parker at the IWK Health Centre

Parker at the IWK Health Centre

People often ask me how I felt when I learned my then 8-year-old son, Parker, had cancer. I was in the emergency room; it was a rainy afternoon.  An amazingly kind doctor arrived to speak with me.  He did what all doctors do, opened with small talk, asked a few questions and did a physical exam on Parker.    As he spoke, I looked at his identification tag and one word stood out: “Oncology”.

Instantly, I felt numb and panicked…as if the ceiling was going to cave in.

“No!” I thought to myself. “Parker is such a cool kid. He loves to read, curl, ski and play volleyball & lacrosse.  He’s kind and polite.  How can this happen to him?”

As reality set in, I felt an aching pain all over, as I realized what my little boy would have to endure to heal his body.  Tests. Needles. Medication. Physical weakness. Loss of his soft, curly hair. Nausea.

Somehow, my husband Bruce and I knew we needed to pull ourselves together and make the best of an awful situation.  That helped us set the tone for the next three-and-a-half years of Parker’s treatment.

Bruce, Parker, Carter and Brenda Murchison

Bruce, Parker, Carter and Brenda Murchison

This journey has been as much about healing our whole family as it was about healing Parker.  It has helped us focus on what’s really important in life.  Our priorities shifted because we became intimately aware of a whole new world…the world of sick kids, cancer and amazing people, including donors like you.

Recently, Parker began his 12th and final round of chemotherapy.  He spent the day in the newly renovated oncology outpatient clinic on the sixth floor, hooked up to two smart pumps and wrapped in warm blankets from the blanket warmer.  He was entertained by his good friend Buddington, our Therapeutic Clown before drifting off to sleep attached to a new anesthesia machine.  For the first time, I had a real appreciation of donor impact – that’s because the renovation of our oncology unit, the purchase of smart pumps and anesthesia machine and funding for Buddington were all donor funded.  Parker was surrounded by the generosity of complete strangers from all around the Maritimes.  In essence, my son was surrounded by the generosity of complete strangers who simply wanted him to be well.

Parker Murchison.

Parker Murchison.

As Parker’s treatment was nearing its end, I realized my IWK journey was just beginning.  I felt compelled to give back. Like many other families who experience the IWK, I wished I had a million dollars to give. Instead, I was fortunate to begin working for the IWK Foundation, with donors like you, who are helping families like mine.  I began witnessing the outpouring of generosity of donors from around the Maritimes – all to help women and children who need the IWK.  I realized the IWK environment I had come to know over the past three years would not be what it is today without donors like you.

Parker completed his treatment on September 15th and is living a great life.  It is an honour for me to write this message on National Philanthropy DayYour support REALLY makes a difference.  Donors like you have made the IWK Health Centre exceptional.  Thank you for caring and for giving.

I hope you enjoy this video of Parker thanking donors like you.  Needless to say I am extremely proud!

~ Brenda

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Volunteers are at the core of our organization.

April 21- 27 is National Volunteer Week, a time to recognize individuals who are making a contribution to their community. Jennifer Gillivan, President and CEO of the IWK Health Centre Foundation, shares her messages of gratitude.

Dear Friends:

Jennifer Gillivan, President & CEO, IWK Health Centre Foundation

Jennifer Gillivan, President & CEO, IWK Health Centre Foundation

April marks that special time of year where we take time to recognize and celebrate the hundreds of volunteers who give their time in support of the IWK Health Centre.

At the IWK Foundation we strive to raise funds year-round to support the most urgent needs of the Health Centre. We couldn’t do this without the support of our volunteers. Two of our largest annual fundraisers – the IWK Telethon for Children and our various Radiothons, would not be possible without the helping hands of volunteers, like you. You help us to continuously make positive change at the IWK.

The contributions you make in your community to further advancements in specialized care for Maritime youth and children are invaluable. Each of you plays an integral role in our fundraising success. For example, Jim Nickle in Halifax offers office support when we need a hand. In Saint John, Sue Steeves lends her leadership talents by managing our phone banks and phone volunteers at Telethon. For the Côté Family in Cape Breton, they volunteer by sharing their personal IWK story. Candace Woodside in Charlottetown helps ensure that all our PEI Radiothon volunteers and staff are well-fed during the two-day broadcast.

As you can see, volunteers are at the core of our organization. We want to make sure that you understand and feel just how valued and respected you are.

From the bottom of our hearts – thank you for giving. By donating your time and your spirit you help to further specialized care at the IWK. Now that’s something you should be extremely proud of!

With Gratitude,

Jennifer Gillivan,
President & CEO, IWK Health Centre Foundation

Volunteer with the IWK Foundation.

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Welcome university students

As anyone who lives in a university town knows, the students are back in town. And the IWK Foundation staff is glad to see them back. This article that appeared in the Dalhousie University Residence News last spring, and is posted here as a way to thank the students for what they have done to support the IWK Health Centre, and welcome new students at local universities throughout the Maritimes and show them what is possible. And to let everyone else know that we’re in good hands with the upcoming generations.

“Yup. It was another BIG night at the IWK Telethon!

As you all likely know, the IWK [Health Centre] is the charity our Residence Community chooses to support each year with the ever- popular Residence Charity Face-Off (RCFO) hockey game (featuring The BigHorns vs The Trojans).

Dalhousie Residence Charity Face-off 2010

Well: once again this year, even more residents from all over campus got involved in the 5th annual Residence Charity Face-Off.

As a result the fundraising got taken to even greater heights. Crazy heights! [Think of it this way: If the RCFO were a building, if would be a development that was once a vacant lot but was then initially developed into a ten-storey building; the following year that ten- storey building would have been converted to a twenty-storey building More recently, just this past year in fact, that twenty-storey building would have been further renovated and remodeled into a building that is currently well over twenty storeys tall. But we digress, however metaphorically.]

Anyhow: believe it or not, this year at the IWK Telethon that took place at the start of June, we were able to write and present a giant cheque in the amount of … (wait for it, wait for it) … $25,000!!! That’s a $5000 increase from last year; we’ve become a MAJOR fundraiser for this GREAT cause!

In fact, if you do the math, it means that over the past three years, The Dalhousie Residence Community – through The Residence Charity Face-Off – has raised $65,000 for the IWK.


ln any case, as a part of our donation, residence community members who have helped out with the event get to make an appearance at the IWK Telethon to make the cheque presentation. The GIANT cheque presentation. The presentation of a GIANT CHEQUE!

Our student reps for the Telethon this year were Joe Garnett (Trojans), Dustin MacDona]d (Trojans), Terry Nabuurs (BigHorns), and the DSU’s incoming VP – Student Life, Hannah Dahn (aIso a BigHorn alum).

Given the incredible amount that was raised, our entourage (Carla, wee Ben, Lyndsay, Matt, and the aforementioned presenters – or ’on-screen tatent’ as they’re known in the business) were ushered (by SCS’s own Heather Sutherland, wearing her IWK Foundation hat) to the swanky “Corporate Green Room” to wait for our on-air time slot. We’d hit the big time. There were snacks and refreshments; there was pithy pre-air chitchat. There were two-bite brownies and real Tim Horton’s coffee. And we weren’t even in a Tim Horton’s!

And then it was time. Giant cheque time. $25,000 time. Show time. Business time.

During their actual on-air time slot, all of our intrepid presenters – jauntily clad in the proud colours of their respective teams (ie. hockey jerseys) – braved nerves, blazing hot stage lights, the probingly expectant stares of the studio telephone-banked legions, and even roundabout chatter with the one and only Bruce Frisko (who had, by the way, made a point of smiling and waving at both Carla and Lyndsay as they stood shadowed off-camera), as the big presentation was made. It was television magic.

Yup: IWK Telethon night was fantastic!

And $25,000 is, quite frankly, a ridiculous and amazing amount of money to raise as a community. It’s a reason to be proud.

Next year {This year} will be our 6th annual RCFO game. We hope each and every one of you get involved and help support this amazing cause! We have some great prize raffles and fundraising ideas already in the works (think: more WestJet passes, among other things), and we can’t wait to harness all that amazing charitable energy we know you’ll bring to campus in the Fall!”