Giving Tuesday Kicked Off Christmas Wish List Campaign

Franco and Kelly Veneruzzo, with son Giovanni (Gio), place stars on the Grand Christmas Tree in celebration of their donation to the Christmas Wish List. Their son Gio was born at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and they are very appreciative of the care they received. They are encouraging everyone to make a donation to the vital medical equipment on the Christmas Wish List to ensure all families can be cared for in the caring and professional manner that they were. Their stars join the hundreds that were added on Giving Tuesday as donors across our community came together to fully fund a Defibrillator for the Operating Room and raised almost enough to also fully fund a Fetal Telemetry Monitor for Labour and Delivery (both items on the Christmas Wish List).

Giving Tuesday is an international day of giving, taking place directly after the sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a day where people rally behind and support their favourite causes.

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation used the excitement of the day to kick off the annual Christmas Wish List fundraising campaign, which comprises of 4 pieces of vital medical equipment for the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Totaling $136,487, the Wish List includes a Defibrillator for the Operating Room, a Fetal Telemetry Monitor and an Infant Warmer for Labour and Delivery, as well as a Portable Ultrasound for the Renal Department. Specifically the goal on Giving Tuesday was to raise $25,561 in 24 hours to fully fund the purchase of the Defibrillator.

Glenn Craig, President & CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation, celebrated the remarkable generosity of donors on Giving Tuesday who donated $50,006, thereby fully funding the Defibrillator and almost fully funding the Fetal Telemetry Monitor. “Our donors are generous throughout the year, but we saw an outpouring of support on Tuesday and we are especially grateful to all those who took the time to make a donation that day. There were so many people who dropped by the Health Sciences Centre and shared their stories with us – and I really think that’s what this day is all about. Being able to give back to a cause that means something personally. At the Health Sciences Centre, there are so many instances where our team of healthcare providers has made a difference – potentially even having saved someone’s life – and people are so appreciative of that and choose to honour this facility and the incredible people here with a donation. I’d like to express my gratitude to everyone who took the time to give on Tuesday. ”

Added Craig, “I want to especially take this opportunity to thank those who committed to matching gifts on Tuesday to build momentum and challenge our community to step forward: Maurice and Jackie Black who pledged to match $6,000; the Estate of Beatrix Anderson, care of Steve Anderson, who actually called in on Tuesday and asked to match $5,000; Graham and Nancy Post, Sam and Pina Augruso from Rainbow Printers, John Collins from Daytona’s Restaurant and an anonymous donor who each pledged to match $1,000, and Troy Erickson from Cuthbertson Ltd. who pledged to match $500. These philanthropic leaders truly have shown what it means to give this season.”

The wonderful news from Giving Tuesday means that two items from the Christmas Wish List are almost funded, however there are still two pieces of vital medical equipment to be funded; pieces that are essential for better healthcare in our community.

Crystal Edwards, Director, Women and Children’s Program, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre emphasized the importance of both the Fetal Telemetry Monitor and Infant Warmer to the Labour and Delivery Department. “With over 1,500 babies born at our Health Sciences Centre each year, it’s very important that our team has the equipment to help babies be born safely and then care for them once they arrive. A Fetal Telemetry Monitor tells us about how a baby is doing before birth and whether we need to take action to ensure the baby is born safely. Furthermore, once a baby has been born, the Infant Warmer is often required so that a baby can be examined and treated while maintaining their body temperature. Many parents with babies born here will make use of one of these pieces of equipment, if not both, to ensure the best possible start to life for their child.”

New father Franco Veneruzzo explained, “Our son Gio was born here just a few short weeks ago and my wife Kelly and I are extremely thankful for the care we received in the Labour and Delivery department. We are especially thankful to those who’ve made a donation in the past that ensured there was a Fetal Telemetry Monitor available so that Gio could be monitored while Kelly was in labour. It gave us, and our healthcare team, peace of mind to know that everything was progressing well and that Gio was safe. With all that goes on here at the Health Sciences Centre, we know how important it is to have equipment available at all times. We’re very hopeful that our community will give generously this Christmas to fund better healthcare and ensure that all families can be cared for in the caring and professional manner that we were.”

Donations to the three remaining items on the Christmas Wish List will be gratefully accepted throughout the entire month of December. Gifts made now provide the best gift of all – better healthcare for our community. Donations can be made at:, by calling 345-4673, in-person at the Health Sciences Centre at the Donation Centre next to the Christmas Tree or by mail to Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation, 980 Oliver Rd, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 6V4