Skip to content

Young Professionals hitting the slopes for better healthcare

Retro-themed ski day will raise funds for MRI machine for Collingwood General and Marine Hospital
Collingwood General and Marine Hospital.

A local committee is throwing a retro-themed ski day to raise money and awareness for the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital (CGMH) Foundation. 

On February 10, the Collingwood Young Professionals Committee is hosting “Slopes for Hope,” an inaugural event that will bring together young professionals and individuals in the region to engage in philanthropy, enjoy time on the slopes and support the community.

Skiers will enjoy breakfast, apres and a hot lunch catered by Food Dudes, as well as an action-packed day both on and off the hill, with raffles, prizes, silent auction, games and more. 

“The event itself is going to be really fun,” said committee chair and founder, Rebecca Meesters. “There are a lot of great activities planned for the day. It’s a great opportunity to get together with your peers, have fun and network, all for a good cause.”

Hosted at Osler Bluff Ski Club, Slopes for Hope will serve as the kick-off fundraiser for the CGMH Foundation to purchase the hospital's first magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine. The committee has set a goal to raise $30,000 to go towards the MRI scanner. 

Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones announced in December that Collingwood was one of several hospitals in the province approved for funding to operate an MRI lab. The capital costs to build the lab space and buy the machine will have to be raised by the hospital foundation before the lab can open. 

“We are so grateful for this dynamic group of young leaders and their desire to support our MRI campaign,” said  Alison Smith, CGMH Foundation committee member. “South Georgian Bay has seen such a growth in the population of younger families and we hope to showcase to them the importance of supporting the hospital while also having a bit of fun.”

Every year, the CGMH serves more than 60,000 permanent residents and 3.5 million annual visitors to the South Georgian Bay community, but what most people don’t know is that 90 per cent of all equipment and technology at the Collingwood G&M Hospital is funded by community support. Money raised through events such as Slopes for Hope and donations from the community pays for virtually all of the equipment used to diagnose the large number of patients that rely on CGMH every year.

“Raising awareness is a big part of these events,” said Smith. “To have event ambassadors is also such a relief for our team and helps us focus on our overall goals and reaching those goals over the year. It takes pressure off of us and encourages more community engagement.”

The Young Professionals Committee was founded in 2021 after Meesters moved to the area and started looking for ways to get involved and give back to her community. Her husband’s family was closely linked to the hospital and she saw a gap in the number of young people involved in the foundation.

“From the hospital standpoint, they were looking to engage a different demographic, so it aligned nicely,” she said. 

The committee has since grown to a team of volunteers who are highly engaged in the community and desire to support fundraising efforts for the CGMH and support the future of healthcare in South Georgian Bay.

The retro ski day will be the second large fundraiser hosted by the committee since its inception. The first event, In This Together, was a culinary experience in partnership with three South Georgian Bay restaurants that took place in the spring of 2021. 

The event saw over 500 people participate in an in-home, three-course meal that helped raise $38,000, successfully reaching their goal to bring an innovative virtual pediatric critical care consult program to the CGMH emergency department.

The committee is also hosting Young Professional Headshots at Studio Seventy Four on Jan. 23, with 50 per cent of the proceeds going towards the campaign for the MRI machine. Participants will get a five-minute session at the studio with photographer Kirsten Schollig to capture one formal and two lifestyle headshots. 

Donations will also be accepted online for those who are interested but unable to make the event on Feb. 10. 

Tickets are on sale now. For more information or to buy a ticket, visit Slopes for Hope.

Reader Feedback

Maddie Johnson

About the Author: Maddie Johnson

Maddie Johnson is an early career journalist working in financial, small business, adventure and lifestyle reporting. She studied Journalism at the University of King's College, and worked in Halifax, Malta and Costa Rica before settling in Collingwood
Read more