Haliburton County is a community that takes care of its own.
It’s something I’ve always admired about the place and have seen play out again and again and again.
Take the more than $20,000 that was raised at the recent Christmas Shindig variety show to help struggling families heat their homes this winter as an example.
Or recall the astounding $780,000 the community raised to help victims of the devastating 2013 flood in Minden.
It was another of those occasions last week, as ground was officially broken for the construction of a new palliative care wing at the Haliburton HHHS facility.
The site will offer two private suites as well as common areas for families and allow residents facing the end of their lives to die graceful, dignified deaths with medical assistance on hand and their families by their sides.
The money for the project – some $1 million – was raised by the Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation during the past couple of years.
Actually, it raised $925,000, but with a new anticipated project cost of $1.25 million, must raise another $325,000 to make up the shortfall.
“We will do this,” foundation board member Don Popple said at last week’s ceremony. Popple didn’t say “can” or “must,” - he said “will,” with a confident, matter-of-factness.
And he’s right. The community will put forward the money, because that’s what it does, members stepping up time and time again to fill gaps in government funding.
During that same ceremony, board member Lisa Tompkins announced that an anonymous donation had already brought the shortfall to below $300,000.
Foundation executive director Dale Walker, board chairman Peter Oyler and all the members of the board should be commended for their perseverance, their constant and persistent lobbying and fundraising efforts. They are pounding the proverbial pavement all the time to improve health care in the county.
So too should all the donors who’ve contributed to the project be commended, the Wilkinson family in particular. If there’s any lingering doubt anywhere about the contributions of seasonal residents to the community, one should look no further than the Wilkinson family.
We won’t get into numbers here, but let’s call their contribution to the project, made in memory of parents John and Bonnie Wilkinson, “substantial.”
Haliburton County is a community that looks after its own. From the beginning, to the very end.