Old hospital sees new life with Christmas fundraiser

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A choir serenades people gathered at the Old Hospital in Castor, in celebration of the Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital Foundation’s Old Christmas Fundraiser on Friday, November 29. ECA Review/Submitted

Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital Foundation hosted an Old Fashioned Christmas Fundraiser within the rooms of the old 1911 Hospital beginning on Thursday, November 28.
The one-time event spanned four days and included a wealth of acts, activities and Christmas fare. Choirs from Castor to Stettler treated ears with joyful music; tea and Christmas baking was presented to onlookers each morning and students from local schools were treated with guided tours of the sights.
In an interview on Friday, November 29, Karen O’Hara, co-ordinator of the event noted that the fundraiser was for a noble cause.
“It was planned by Our Lady of the Rosary Foundation, which is a group that raises money for things in our hospital,” she says. “This is for the palliative care project. We need to upgrade our palliative care room so that families have more room, and hopefully if we get enough [funds raised] we’ll put an outside area for patients.” She said the intent of this upgrade would be to provide more privacy and mobility to patients and families navigating this sensitive medical care situation.
The Fundraiser was carried out by at least 60 volunteers who spent two weeks decorating 16 rooms of the historical hospital. Each room contained a unique theme, ranging from rooms full of elaborate dolls to nativity scenes.
“All the stuff was brought in by people that [donated them],” says O’Hara. “Everybody brought stuff from home, or people would say ‘I have some things if you’d like to come and get them.’ It was a real community effort.”
Beyond hosting daily entertainment for the public, the hospital also invited local schools in to enjoy the sights.
“All the school kids from Theresetta Catholic School came yesterday and today Gus Wetter School is here,” she says. “We’re basically giving them a scavenger hunt so they can’t just glance in at the rooms. They have to look around for stuff.”
Though O’Hara notes that the event will not become an annual affair due to the sheer amount of work required, she notes the experience was immensely positive for all involved.
“We thought it would be a fun thing for the community,” says O’Hara. “And it has been.”

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