• Dr. John Collins is dressed in the spirit as he takes bids on the car care products bundled for the annual RVH Basket Auction to raise funds for the Renfrew County Child Poverty Action Network (CPAN) at Christmastime.

For immediate release

December 1, 2011

Annual basket auction another huge success

All staff members at Renfrew Victoria Hospital are accustomed to kicking off the holiday with the real meaning of the season—giving to those less fortunate.

This year is no different after being able to raise $4,319 for the Renfrew County Child Poverty Action Network (CPAN) to provide gifts for local children in need at Christmas.

Every November, each department at the hospital is asked to come up with a theme and collect items to create a gift basket. All of the 25 baskets created this year were on display for a couple of days before silent auction bidding occurred on November 23.

The thought and creativity put into each contribution is as inspiring as the project—from packages featuring all local produce and treats, to movie nights, hockey tickets, a basket filled with books and cuddly friends for a baby, spa packages, cooking baskets, and tickets to local attractions, to a large wooden sleigh full of games and toys.

“This is our fifth year,” says one of the annual RVH basket auction organizers, Pam Cranfield. Since the first basket auction in 2007, RVH has raised more than $20,000 for CPAN, a local advocacy group dedicated to eliminating child poverty in Renfrew County.

Cranfield and her co-workers have a lot of fun first with preparing their baskets and then outbidding each other on auction day.

The ideas and presentation of the items seems to get bigger and better with each year, along with the enthusiasm among staff to help give a real Christmas gift to deserving people within the community.

“I am very proud of our staff, physicians and volunteers who have been involved with this project. Either by donating or bidding, I continue to be amazed at the generosity of our folks. What is particularly pleasing for me is to observe how members of our corporation step up and give back to our community in a very significant manner,” says RVH President and CEO Randy Penney of his team.

Part of the fundraiser also includes a live auction and this year’s prize was a plethora of car cleaning accessories and gadgets. Auctioneer Dr. John Collins sold it to the highest bidder for $225.

“We really have to thank all of our staff members for their generosity and the local businesses who have donated gifts,” says Sandra Buttle, another auction organizer.

The generous spirit inspired a number of staff who didn’t win a basket to make personal donations after the event as well.

“This really means a lot,” comments Sandra Wright who, with Fairooz Kermalli, was on hand to accept the donation on behalf of CPAN.

“We can’t measure the joy it brings to the families who would otherwise have nothing to give their children for Christmas morning,” Wright told the group after the silent auction. “What you’ve done here today is simply wonderful.”

Kermalli says the money is well used and goes to families in the immediate area. She and her co-workers do their best to stretch every penny.

“I’ve had some mothers cry when I bring the gifts over,” she says. “They are so thankful, and so are we for all that everyone does to make their Christmas a little brighter.”


For more information about the Renfrew Victoria Hospital please contact Randy Penney, CEO, Renfrew Victoria Hospital, 613-432-4851, ext. 260.

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