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The CIBC Run for Our Lives campaign raised more than $72,000 this year, according to organizers.
Representatives from the Diavik Diamond Mine donated $25,000 to the CIBC Run for Our Lives campaign on Dec. 18 at the Northwestel building. From left, Richard Storrie, president/CEO of Diavik Diamond Mine; Gord Stephenson, Diavik’s manager Infrastructure and projects; and Run for Our Lives committee members Cindy McLean, Josh Firth and Stephanie Brinkworth.
photo courtesy of Facebook
The campaign, which raises money for the Stanton Territorial Hospital Foundation, issued a news release on Dec. 18 highlighting a $25,000 donation from Diavik Diamond Mine.
The campaign is typically marked by a “mud run” in September but that event was scuttled by Covid-19 public health restrictions.
In 2020, the campaign put together a Mud Bucket Challenge, which asked groups and individuals from across the North to raise money by dumping buckets of mud on their heads.
The mud-pouring events were intended to raise awareness and money for cancer programs, initiatives, patient care items, equipment and treatment, and as part of the overall efforts of the Stanton Territorial Hospital Foundation, states the news release.
The idea was to retain the muddy conditions of the Mud Run and also emulate the ALS ice bucket challenge that had grown in popularity in recent years.
Patti Olexin-Lang, executive director of the Stanton Territorial Hospital Foundation, said the success with the mud bucket challenge added to positive community contributions this year despite the struggle with Covid-19.
“I was very worried at the onset of Covid in terms of how much it would impact all foundations and organizations, and it did,” she said. “We all had to think outside of the box in how we would do fundraising and it was all successful. We can’t thank people of the North for thinking of health care and services that Stanton provides and keeping on top of being able to provide the best health care we can in the North.”
The CIBC Run for Our Lives campaign stated on a Dec. 19 Facebook post that the overall results were very positive this year.
“We were amazed at the support from our community, our sponsors were incredibly generous, and (on Dec. 18) we were so grateful to receive a cheque from Rio Tinto/Diavik Diamond Mine for the sum of $25,000!” the post stated.
More than $17,000 was raised by the staff at Rio Tinto/Diavik Diamond Mine and this was then topped up with the cheque donation equal to $25,000, according to the post.
Robin’s Nest Fundraiser for recliners
In addition to the Run for Our Lives largess, Robin’s Nest Fundraiser made a Dec. 15 contribution of $90,000 toward the Stanton Chemo Unit.
The group, which was created in the memory of Robin Mercer-Sproule, who died last spring, saw a portion of its donation go toward the purchase of five Champion recliners for the unit – worth $6,500 each.
Traci Mercer-Sproule, centre, sits with members of the Robin’s Nest Fundraiser with a $90,000 cheque donation to the Stanton Territorial Hospital chemotherapy unit on Dec. 15. A portion of the funds went toward the purchase of five Champion recliners at the chemo unit to offer patients added comfort. 
image courtesy of Facebook
Olexin-Lang said the purchase was a major effort to honour Mercer-Sproule’s final wishes.
“Any money leftover there will go towards something that benefits the patients in that unit,” Olexin-Lang said.
Raffle offers $50,000 grand prize
The Stanton Foundation also has an online cash raffle that replaces the annual gala this year as a fundraiser.
Leading up to New Year’s Day, which will feature a grand prize $50,000, there will be a series of draws for cash. As of Tuesday, Olexin-Lang said that more than half of the tickets were sold.
“We would have had our gala in November – which of course we didn’t (due to Covid) – and we would have announced by then what we would have raised,” she said. “With us having this raffle, we will make an announcement in early January of what we raised.”
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Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. A through and through "County boy" from Prince Edward County, Ont., Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin...

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