Momentum builds on cataract project

The fundraising thermometer outside the CGH Eye Centre will soon rise, as the Mount Cheam Lions club makes great strides with their project.

Since the thermometer unveiling in February (above)

Since the thermometer unveiling in February (above)

Things are heating up in the CGH parking lot this week.

The fundraising thermometer displaying the rising amount of donations for the Mount Cheam Lions Centennial Legacy project is going up from $50,000 to $300,000 to mark their recent progress.

“It’s pretty exciting,” project Chair Dave Mackintosh said. “We’re halfway there!”

Launching with the unveiling of the thermometer in February (Progress, Feb. 26, 2016: page 5), they’re working toward the goal of raising $600,000 by December 31, 2016, to purchase new equipment for the Eye Centre at CGH.

The project is a joint effort between the Mount Cheam and Steller’s Jay Lions clubs, who are working with the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation (FVHCF) to fund two new cataract surgery machines (Phacoemulsification Systems).

The CGH Eye Centre is the only public, high-volume cataract centre in the province, completing approximately 5,300 procedures annually on patients who come from as far away as the Interior region.

The clubs have raised nearly $100,000 through individual donations from the community, fundraisers like the sold-out Suds, Spuds and Burger Night at Triple Play Pub last week, and by generous donations from service clubs across Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Mission.

Mackintosh is thrilled to announce that they’ve received approval for a $100,000 matching grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation.

Furthermore, he just received word from the FVHCF that an anonymous estate donation of an additional $100,000 has been allocated to this service project.

That’s $300,000 raised in only a few months.

To keep this exciting momentum going, the Lions club has planned additional fundraisers to keep the community excited about the project.

They’re hosting a Strawberry Luncheon at the Mount Cheam Lions Club Hall (45580 Spadina Ave) on Saturday, June 4. Tickets for the Strawberry Luncheon are $20 each, featuring a menu that includes a croissant sandwich, salad and strawberry shortcake.

They’ve also kicked off their Centennial Legacy Project raffle, with some outstanding prizes up for grabs.

The grand prize is an airfare voucher for a return trip for two to any scheduled WestJet destination. The second prize is a dinner for eight in your own home, catered by Merle’s Catering. The third prize is a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8”.

Raffle tickets are available now at $20 each or three for $50. The draw will take place in Chilliwack on September 10.

Looking forward to the summer, the Lions will also be hosting a special event with Chances Casino over the July-August long weekend.

“I think the project is going extremely well,” Mackintosh said. “So far, we’ve had great support from the local service clubs, now we just need the business community to step up.”

He’s also challenging anyone who has had cataract surgery at CGH, or has a friend or family member who’s benefitted from the procedure, to donate $5 to the cause.

“We want the best for our community,” he said. “The Eye Centre at CGH is a centre of excellence, and we want to keep it that way.”

“We want them to have the latest technology and the best equipment, to make sure that the Eye Centre remains viable.”

Purchase raffle tickets online. Contact Bev at 604-858-4841 or visit mountcheamlions.com to learn more about the Strawberry Luncheon.

To stay updated on the project and upcoming fundraisers, or to donate visit www.fvhcf.ca.