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Health foundation raises thousands for trauma room

Brian Vandervalk displays a framed, autographed photo of hockey star Wayne

Fort Macleod Health Foundation raised more than $30,000 Saturday night for a state-of-the-art trauma room at the health centre.
Two hundred and 33 people turned out at the community hall for the foundation’s annual Oktoberfest.
“Every year I’m amazed to see how much support we get,” Fort Macleod Health Centre manager Denice Joel said.
Guests enjoyed a dinner catered by LA Chefs, bid actively on live and silent auction items and danced to the music of Fast Times.
The fifth annual Oktoberfest was one of the hottest tickets in town — with requests pouring in before tickets were even printed.
Joel praised the efforts of foundation members Susan Koots, Debbie Vanee, Ute Eremenko, Wendy Larson, Lani Vanee, Dorothy Asuchak, Corrine Conner, Brian Vandervalk and Merline Heal.
“They’re certainly outdone themselves this year,” Joel said.
Joel said the goal is to return the trauma room to the state-of-the-art facility it was 27 years ago.
“The enhancements are really to improve the comfort of the patients and the staff,” Joel said.
It is anticipated the upgrade will cost $100,000.
Joel said one of the key improvements will be a digitally enhanced x-ray system.
The system in the trauma room will produce x-rays of the same quality as those done in the x-ray room.
Doctors will be able to see the x-rays on the screen in the trauma room.
The x-rays can also be seen by physicians across the province, allowing them to consult with doctors on site.
The health foundation’s Brian Vandervalk, who was master of ceremonies on Friday, said the improvements will benefit the town.
“The equipment will bring us up to the highest standard, which is great for a community,” Vandervalk said.
Vandervalk praised the community for its support for the event, including buying tickets and donating items to support the fund-raiser.
“We really couldn’t have much of a function without the donations,” Vandervalk said. “They’re key to the process.”
Auctioneer Darren Shaw coaxed fast and furious bidding out of the audience for 12 items that raised $13,150 in the live auction.
The live auction items included a Calgary Stampede package; tickets to a Calgary Stampeders football game; a Murphy Urness carved bear; a Case child’s electric riding tractor; a John Deer pedal tractor; an autographed photo of hockey star Wayne Gretzky; a pot light speaker system; a package made up of a toilet, bathroom sink and faucets; and tool and liquor chests.
Fort Macleod Fire Department volunteered as bartenders and Werner Dressler provided safe rides home in the Legion Van.