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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 30, 2006
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island - Eastlink Television in Stratford celebrated in a big way all weekend with the best of Island entertainment making a very successful 10th Anniversary for the 21 Hour Equipment Drive for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. An incredible amount of $478,014 was raised for new medical equipment.
This year's 21 Hour Equipment Drive topped last year's amount of $444,777 by $ 33,237.
"Eastlink congratulates the Foundation on their success this weekend. We could not have achieved this fundraising goal without the support of the volunteers and the generosity of Prince Edward Islanders," said Dan McKeen, Co-CEO of Eastlink. "We know this telethon is important to the Hospital and to Island residents and we look forward to continuing to broadcast it for many years to come."
The host all weekend was Marlene MacDonald with help from Vern Murphy who conducted interviews with patients and community leaders and Darren Ings who oversaw the auction desk.
Money raised this year helped support medical eye equipment. Islanders helped purchase state-of-the-art eye equipment including a new ophthalmology microscope to help surgeons perform cataract surgeries. The QEH Auxiliary, the lead donor to the hospital, showed their support in the last hour to present a $100,000 cheque to purchase the Digital Angiogram to help QEH ophthalmologists in quicker diagnoses.
Helping on the anchor desk were more than forty co-hosts from across PEI and also lending support were QEH Eye Specialists Dr. Jerry O'Hanley and Dr. Guy Boswall. Hundreds of volunteers helped answer phones, did camera work, acted as floor directors, delivered food, took pictures, provided food, did technical support in the mobile and so much more.
Entertainment over the weekend included appearances by Chucky Danger Band, 2 Hrs Traffic, Cynthia MacLeod, Kevin Ryan, Richard Wood, Chris Taylor, Gordon Belsher, Blue Streak, Paul Bernard and Este Mundo, Janet McGarry and Wind River, lots of step dancers and singers. Spoon player Jerry Deveaux of Inverness County, Cape Breton made several appearances.
"We are extremely thankful to Eastlink for broadcasting this wonderful Island event," said Paulette Hooley, Chair of QEH Foundation. "Thanks to all the volunteers who helped out this weekend. It's been an incredible celebration for Prince Edward Island's hospital and a tremendous outpouring of support for the QEH. All Islanders requiring specialized eye care will now be better served thanks to the generosity shown this weekend."
Eastlink was recognized earlier this week at the Platinum Level ($2 million+) on the donor wall that is located in the front lobby of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
21 Hour Equipment Chair John MacLean gave special thanks to all the people who made a pledge this weekend and to everyone who donated items to the on-air auction. "The on-air auction raised $18,745 while $ 70,191was pledged by phone from Islanders and $389,078 was presented by groups and organizations from communities all across the Island.
Some groups who have been supporting the 21 Hour Equipment Drive for the past number of years include Murray River and Area Ceilidhs, Winsloe Players, Bonshaw Fisherman's Breakfast, Residents of MacMillan Crescent and the Charlottetown Eight Ball league to name a few. Lions' Clubs from across the Island presented an astonishing $44,700 during the weekend.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation was pleased Vogue Optical lent their support for ophthalmology equipment through a special promotion and thanked Vice President Cory Gray for presenting a cheque for $15,000.
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