The last Red Deer Festival of Trees was a virtual success and planning is already underway for the popular fundraising lottery, say organizers.
“Thanks to the generosity of our community, donors, sponsors, and the help of our volunteers, the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation will be able to fund part of the electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) project for Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre and other healthcare centres in rural Central Alberta,” says the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation in a news release on Tuesday.
Fetal heart rates are monitored during pregnancy, labour and birth to assess the baby’s well-being.
Currently, in the Red Deer hospital and rural centres, fetal heart rate tracings are captured through bedside monitors that print paper records and can only be viewed while at the machine.
Festival organizers had a challenging year. COVID-19 health restrictions saw the event closed to the public shortly before it was to begin.
That meant switching gears to allow people to see pictures, watch virtual tours and bid in a silent auction, or buy items in the tree room set up in Bower Place mall.
“The first-ever Christmas Jingle Cash Lottery was also a success, not only by assisting the funding efforts but also giving away $17,500 in cash prizes to five winners including the top prize of $10,000 to Darlene Glackin, of Red Deer County.”
Although last minute changes resulted in Festival of Trees being closed to the public, people were still able to view and bid on the hundreds of silent auction items and trees.
The next big fundraiser, the 2021 Red Deer Hospital Lottery, will launch in a few months. More than $1.1 million in prizes will be offered, including a Sorento Custom Homes grand prize dream home located in Red Deer’s Laredo neighbourhood.
Proceeds from this year’s lottery will also benefit electronic fetal monitoring.
“Upgrading to an electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) system is an enormous project that will take place across a number of hospitals and health-care sites in Central Alberta,” says the festival.
“EFM will introduce new features like preset alarms, electronic access to records, and reduced risk of user error through the elimination of a paper-based system.”
Although the foundation office remains closed to the public, fundraising efforts continue to enhance health care in central Alberta.