For immediate release

December 13, 2012

Rain doesn’t dampen Christmas spirit

Although they are used to seeing snow instead of rain, a crowd of faithful Renfrew Victoria Hospital supporters shared heartfelt wishes of the holiday season at the annual Tree of Lights Celebration held on Friday, December 7 in Low Square.

The signature event serves as a kick-off to the Tree of Lights campaign, which, in the past two decades, has raised more than $1.5 million dollars for the Renfrew Victoria Hospital Foundation, stated Jim Lemenchick, RVH Foundation President, from under his umbrella during his opening remarks.

“We started out in 1991 with a goal of $10,000 and we raised $12,000.” The generous contributions from the community over the past 21 years are “just incredible,” he added.

RVH Foundation Director, Barb Desilets, noted that this is the only direct appeal campaign from the hospital to the community. “We are very fortunate to have a lot of people behind us and the good work of the many professionals at our hospital.”

Each year a holiday card featuring a local artist is specifically designed and distributed for the cause and serves as an invitation to the tree lighting ceremony. This year cards were sent to every household in the RVH catchment area—Desilets notes 5,732 cards were sent out for the 2012 campaign that is focusing on heart care and health.

Funds raised will be directed to the purchase of state-of-the-art cardiac-related equipment to enhance the care provided to our patients diagnosed with heart health issues. However, Desilets mentioned that donors who would like to direct their contribution to another area of the hospital can make those wishes known on the donation form and the office will make sure funds are directed accordingly.

“And we hear that Christmas is arriving a little earlier than expected at RVH,” announced Desilets before introducing the Cougars Conquering Cancer team.

On behalf of the Cougars, Kelly Perry presented Lemenchick, Desilets and RVH Vice-President of Corporate Services, Julia Boudreau, with a cheque for $10,000 for the RVH Foundation towards Digital Mammography. The group holds a variety of large and smaller-scale events across Renfrew and area throughout the year to raise funds and awareness in the fight against Cancer.

The actual lighting of the Tree of Lights in front of Renfrew Town Hall took a little pedal power this year. In an effort to promote heart health, Santa Steve Radke (RVH’s Chief of Staff) and Rudolph Randy Penney (RVH President and CEO) had to power the lights in a bike riding competition. On hand to commentate on the event were local radio personalities Bob and The Bear (Bob Dillabough and Kevin Regan) from MyFM radio.

As part of the festive tradition, once the tree was all aglow everyone sang a few Christmas carols led by local musician Dai Basset. There was, of course, a brief visit from the Jolly Ol’ Elf, much to the delight of all of the children in attendance.

Donations to the RVH Tree of Lights campaign can be always made online at

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