EKFH’s Starlite Campaign – New Brand to Launch 2015 Campaign

Cranbrook, BC…    In the summer of 2008 the East Kootenay Regional Hospital was undergoing a major expansion with a new emergency department, ambulatory care and registration areas.   The exterior design of the hospital offered an opportunity for EKFH (East Kootenay Foundation for Health) to undertake a new annual holiday giving initiative.    As with many health and hospital foundations an annual holiday giving program is one of the cornerstones of fundraising.

Many charities across the country utilize a Christmas Light a Bulb concept; however EKFH wanted to take the idea one step further.   During the original planning stages the foundation felt that it might be timely to move away from the concept of lighting Christmas trees and bulbs to one with a more universal theme.  After several brainstorming sessions the idea of lighting stars atop the roof line of the regional hospital came to life.

“We had originally intended to purchase commercial grade stars for the project but after extensive research the cost to source the product would require significant outlay that would set EKFH back before even realizing a fundraising benefit”, explains EKFH’s Executive Director Donna Grainger.

What happened next is nothing short of a miracle.   While overhearing that the Starlite idea might be scrapped the maintenance team at the regional hospital approached EKFH saying that they would like to take on their own personal project and could build the stars.

Grainger shares, “I really was surprised at such an offer but I must admit on one hand I thought, what on earth that team could build that would rise to the occasion and become a signature piece for the foundation, the hospital and fundraising.”  A few weeks passed and it seemed the idea had gone the wayside until one day someone walking near the maintenance office came running to the EKFH office and shouted “Have you seen what those Maintenance Guys have built for EKFH?”  With a quick run to the shop, and a turn around the corner, the first custom made star, painted gold and beaming a serene blue stood shining in brilliance.   It was simply magnificent and the start of a new beginning in holiday fundraising for the foundation began.

With metal donations from former  Wilkinson Steel, lighting support from BL Lighting and EB Horsman and donated time volunteered by the Maintenance Team (now officially named  the EKRH STARMAKERS) the stars were built.  Each Starmaker member took on a task of welding, painting, wiring, or erecting the stars.   Ten stars were built, wired and hung for the 1st annual Starlite Campaign for Excellence in Health Care with an to raise funds for hospitals and health care facilities in the East Kootenay.

The first star was officially lit on November 28, 2008 (as part of a 5-year partnership) with the East Kootenay Community Credit Union.   The format was simple; donations of any value were accepted and at every $5,000 increment a star would be lit, the first year goal was 10 stars lit and $50,000.   The public response was overwhelming with all stars lit by December 16 and by the end of January2009 an astonishing $55,118 given by the generous hearts of donors.

In 2012, the Starlite Campaign began the tradition of being a solo EKFH signature event.   Over the years the Starlite Campaign has witnessed many heart-warming moments and changes including a campaign name change, the expansion to 17 stars along the roof line and in 2013 a surprise signature star designed by the EKRH STARMAKERS placed at the highest point on the hospital’s roof.   In 2014 another 24 smaller stars were added to roofline lighting up the traditional blue and new colours of white and green.

For 2015 the 8th annual Starlite Campaign will take on a new brand and remains focused on raising funds for regional and communityNew logo 2015 health programs.  These programs are dedicated to helping those with arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory needs, and more or may require help with chronic disease management, home nursing, in-home oxygen,  wound,  senior, pediatric  and self-care programs.  More often than not these programs have smaller equipment needs.  However the impact those pieces of equipment and patient education tools can deliver through these programs in every community in the East Kootenay can often help people who wouldn’t have had anywhere else to turn to for assistance.

From private and corporate donors, service clubs to crown corporations, hockey players to best friends, in gratitude or in memory … the Starlite Campaign donor represents many faces of giving, all with a common goal of strengthening health care in their community and the region.  Since its launch the Starlite Campaign has seen outpouring of donor generosity with over $700,000 raised for medical equipment and/or patient comforts.

If you are interested in investing in the current and future health care needs of your community and the region please consider a donation towards the Starlite Campaign this holiday season.  When you see the stars shining brightly please remember that through your generous support you can help light a path for others.  Every dollar and every star counts!  Make a gift at your local hospital or health care facility or donate on-line www.ekfh.ca.