Mont St. Joseph Home is thanking the Prince Albert community following their first-ever Grandparents Day radiothon.
Typically, the not-for-profit care home would hold a stroll-a-thon to celebrate Grandparents’ Day, set this year for Sept. 13. That event, held in years past, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With a pressing need to replace six special access tubs, which cost about $70,000 each, the Mont St. Joseph Foundation had to get creative.
Instead, they hosted a Tub-a-thon, a radiothon to raise the funds for the last six funds, which are vital to preventing the spread of infection.
The tubs are used every day, multiple times a day, and their replacement will make life easier for residents and for staff.
Between 7 and 11 a.m. Thursday, residents and businesses clogged up the phone lines calling to contribute to the cause.
“It went really, really well,” the foundation’s resource development coordinator, Jessica Gale, said.
“The community rallied to get behind us, and it was a great event. The phone rang pretty steadily.”
The home’s new executive director, Wayne Nogier, was also pleased. Nogier replaced outgoing director Brian Martin in late August following Martin’s retirement.
“Today was a fantastic day,” he said.
“For being the first time that we tried out an event like this, it beat our expectations. The weather cooperated, we had a lot of people coming through (outside) our facility and the phones lit up as the telethon went on. It was a good day.”
In addition to the telethon, Mont St. Joseph staff are working to make Grandparents Day special for the residents who can’t go on their annual stroll-a-thon this year.
“We’ve got a special meal coming in for the residents and then on Sunday we’re doing the same thing,” he said, adding that staff are working extra hard to hold more activities inside the home to celebrate the residents and “the good that goes on a day-to-day basis.”
Nogier was excited to see the community support.
“A home like this is really built on and runs on the support from the community,” he said.
“We plan an integral role in what happens in Prince Albert and the community came out today and showed us that they’re in support of that.”
The event also was a chance to show off the home’s new front porch, which opened this year. Work began on the new space last summer. It has a seating area for residents and fireplaces to give them a comfortable space to sit and visit.
“This was a vision (Martin) had about a year and a half ago. They started this project … with the intention that we would use this deck in full this summer. We were able to use it under some strained circumstances, but it is a beautiful place,” he said.
“We’ve had a couple of smaller events and they’ve turned out great.”
As for the future of the radiothon, it’s something the home is considering again for next year.
While the final total won’t be known for about another week, the event allowed the facility to reach out to a wider audience than their old event would have come into contact with.
“It was a good opportunity to think outside of that box. We usually do a big family affair for Grandparents Day. We took COVID into consideration and I really feel that with the radio it really got our voice out to the community and city more broadly than our regular events,” Gale said.
“Once we really crunch the numbers, I think it could be a viable option for us to go forward with.”
Anyone or any business who wants to donate still can by contacting Mont St. Joseph Home at 306-953-4500.