Charlottetown hospital foundation takes fundraising online with 50-50 draw

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation has launched its first online 50/50 raffle as a way to raise funds remotely — and safely — in the age of COVID-19.

QEH hopes people will get behind new way of raising money for vital equipment

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation is raising money to buy more of these Giraffe OmniBeds for the Charlottetown hospital's neonatal intensive care unit. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation has launched its first online 50/50 raffle as a way to raise funds remotely — and safely — in the age of COVID-19.

Officials with the foundation say they were hearing from groups who would normally hold fundraisers for the hospital, but weren't able to over the past year because of the pandemic. 

Now those groups can sign up to be a part of the fundraiser, which runs until May 30. Anyone buying 50-50 tickets can select a group to designate who gets credit for "raising" the money. 

"A lot of them were asking how they can still give to their hospital during days that they aren't able to fundraise," said MaryEllen Hughes, director of philanthropy with the foundation.

"It's really just in an effort to help our groups continue to help us."

Traditional fundraisers such as people selling paper raffle tickets door to door aren't happening this pandemic year, so the QEH Foundation is heading online with a 50-50 draw. (Jeremy Lucas)

Say you click to say your ticket purchase is in support of "Winsloe Players" or "Fredericton-Hazel Grove Women's Institute." Your donation counts toward the selected group's cumulative total on the foundation's donor wall.

The foundation's website notes that other groups that want to be part of the fundraising challenge can still apply to be included in the "In Support Of" drop-down menu.

People buying tickets with no specific fundraising group in mind can choose "QEH Priority Equipment Needs" in the drop-down menu. 

"It helps somebody hopefully win a really nice, wonderful pot of money," said Hughes. "And it helps us then purchase state-of-the-art equipment for the neonatal unit, keeping even more families here at home on P.E.I."

The foundation wants to help purchase additional incubators called Giraffe Omnibeds for the QEH neonatal intensive-care unit. Each costing about $70,000, they're intended to reduce stress for newborns by keeping them warm and hydrated. 

The 50-50 tickets cost $5 each, or you can buy higher amounts, including 35 for $50. 

The jackpot winner gets half the ticket sale proceeds, and the draw will take place live online on May 30. 

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Jessica Doria-Brown


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