PHC staff making Lights of Hope shine brighter

Dec 7, 2017 | Spotlight

Taking the stage with his Providence Health Care colleagues during the Lights of Hope lighting ceremony, Dr. Martin Trotter holds a cheque for $469,300.Taking the stage with his Providence Health Care colleagues during the Lights of Hope lighting ceremony, Dr. Martin Trotter holds a cheque for $469,300.

You and your colleagues still have plenty of time to put together a team to raise funds for greatest needs.

Dr. Martin Trotter, head of pathology and laboratory medicine at Providence Health Care, sent an office-wide email in mid-October asking the members of his department to join him in making a donation to support Lights of Hope, and to support the annual fundraising effort together, as a team.

About a month later, during the Lights of Hope lighting ceremony on Nov. 16, Dr. Trotter presented a cheque to St. Paul’s Foundation for nearly half a million dollars — $469,000. This amount represented gifts from all PHC staff and volunteers.

Have you formed your team? Do it today!

Dr. Trotter’s team contributed $23,000 to that total (most of it raised in a little more than a month). The team at the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation at St. Paul’s raised a similar amount — $24,000. In fact, quite a few departments banded together:

  • The Respiratory Division raised $38,000
  • The Urban Health, Mental Health and Substance Use Program gave $5,000
  • The Professional Practice Office gave $5,000 (special props to the PPO for going old-school and staging a bake sale as part of their fundraising drive!)
  • Cardiology raised $43,000 (and is fast approaching the goal they have set for themselves of $50,000)
  • Radiology Associates have pledged to give $35,000

With so many PHC departments and divisions supporting Lights of Hope, you can see how donations add up. And while some PHC departments are very large and others are quite small, no one seems to be looking beyond their own team. The spirit is more about, “Let’s see how much we can raise together.” The answer? Lots!

To celebrate Lights of Hope’s 20th anniversary, a special “20 for 20” fundraising campaign is also underway this year. The 20 for 20 campaign sees PHC teams commit to raise $20,000 each for Lights of Hope this anniversary year. This month, the departments of Family Medicine, Anesthesiology and Surgery are all marching toward their 20 for 20 goals. That’s another $60,000!

Online fundraising tool playing a central role

As St. Paul’s Foundation continues to inspire individuals and organizations in the community to give, this year the Foundation has been promoting among PHC staff its online fundraising tool, which makes it easy to organize your own online fundraising campaign.

Dr. Trotter was an early adopter: he used a cloud-based system last year as part of a St. Paul’s Foundation pilot project when the system still had a few bugs in it. Meanwhile, the team at the Foundation had been tweaking and making improvements to be ready for this year’s Lights of Hope celebration.

“This year, the online fundraising site was much more user friendly,” says Dr. Trotter. “Last year we created our own thermometer-style bar graph to show how close we were to our goal, but now the site has a progress meter online. So lots of little improvements. And other than my initial email to everyone, I’ve only sent a reminder or two. Otherwise, the team members just make their donation on the site. It’s very easy to use.”

Last year, Dr. Trotter’s Pathology and Laboratory Medicine team raised enough funds to have a three-foot bronze star (for gifts of $5,000) on the Lights of Hope display; this year, they surpassed the silver star (signifying a gift of $10,000) and went all the way to gold star status (a six-foot star representing a gift of $20,000).

Dr. Trotter also mentions his team had a special motivation to give this year, as their Lights of Hope fundraising effort was in tribute to a colleague, laboratory technologist Christine Chuk, who lost her life in a car accident earlier this year. A photo of Christine was placed on their fundraising page.

“Our team has always been generous in supporting Lights of Hope but this was a special year for us as we honoured Christine,” says Dr. Trotter.

There is still lots of time

The Lights of Hope display remains lit until Monday, Jan. 8. This means for any PHC staff out there who have yet to engage, you still have an entire month to get your department on the Lights of Hope fundraising bandwagon. (And just look at what Dr. Trotter and others were able to raise in a month!)

You can start your own fundraising webpage right now. It’s fast. It’s easy. And you and your colleagues will have a direct impact on greatest needs across all PHC sites. While it’s too late to get a star on the display for this year (that deadline was Dec. 5) your gifts will make a difference to patients and residents across PHC—and you can always consider this your department’s dry run for next year!

The fundraising bar has been set pretty high, but members of the PHC family don’t seem the type to shy away from a challenge. Assemble your team today. Good luck!

Rather just make a gift? On your own? Keep it simple? You can do that, too, by donating at

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