Bowling for dollars… and pediatrics

Spirits were high as friends and colleagues went Bowling For Dollars in April to raise money and awareness for the new children’s emergency unit at Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH).

The event took place at Thorncliffe Bowlerama. Patrick Gladney and Erin Clarke of Friends of TEGH hosted the event. The Friends is a group of community fundraisers who have come together with the goal of raising $250,000 for the hospital.

Judy White, manager of the campaign, was thrilled with the turnout and what it will mean for the children’s emergency unit.

“(TEGH) has one of the busiest emergency departments in the city. About a quarter of the patients that come through are children. Emergency rooms are usually very noisy and stressful and can be scary for a child,” she said. “The effects so far from this new unit have been very positive.”

The children’s emergency unit opened in September 2010 and is located within the Stavro emergency department at TEGH. Here, children and their families are provided with a quiet, safe and calm environment during what is already an anxious moment in a child’s life.

The Friends of TEGH website describes the children’s emergency unit as a place “designed to fast-track children immediately into dedicated pediatric treatment rooms that are calm, safe and family-friendly.

Gladney said he’s lucky he hasn’t had to use the new children’s unit with his own son, but he’s very happy something this innovative has been created in his own backyard.

“TEGH is a very important part of my community, yet does not receive anywhere near the same level of awareness, recognition and support as the downtown hospitals,” he said. “It serves over 500,000 Torontonians, many of whom are not in the position to support their hospital: new Canadians, elderly and young families.”

The fundraising event, which drew 45 bowlers and approximately 50 additional absentee donors, raised over $5,000, bringing the Friends’ total thus far to over $66,000.

Past events have included sponsored runs, bake sales and chef’s auction dinners.

After the success of this event, Gladney is looking forward to future initiatives.

“People really seemed to enjoy the idea of raising some money, while having some fun at the same time. I think that model is something we will want to repeat over the next couple of years as we continue our effort to reach our $250,000 goal,” he said.

For more information on the campaign and where you can donate or participate in fundraising events, you can visit www.FriendsOfTEGH.org.