The East Kootenay Foundation for Health’s major fundraiser of the year is underway

The East Kootenay Foundation for Health’s major fundraiser of the year is underway

Campaigning by Starlight

The East Kootenay Foundation for Health’s major fundraiser of the year is underway


Donna Grainger from the East Kootenay Foundation for Health says the annual holiday fundraiser, the Starlite Campaign, is one of the most beautiful campaigns she has ever been involved with.

And that’s because it began with a gift from the heart and has carried on in that spirit.

Begun seven years ago when the East Kootenay Regional Hospital was undergoing renovations, Grainger says that a new direction was being sought for the Festival of Trees.

“We wanted stars to represent all the people of different faiths and backgrounds who are a part of the East Kootenay Regional Hospital. We looked at having a star made in Calgary but it was too expensive. But along the way, one of the maintenance people from the hospital heard me talking about it and said he could make me one. I didn’t think too much of it, but a couple of weeks later someone said, ‘have you seen what the maintenance team has done?’ I went down to see and there were the stars. They did it on their own time and they do it every year.

“They don’t want their faces out there, this is just their way of giving. They never want to see those stars go out.”

With that kind of start, the Starlite Campaign has become a holiday tradition. With each $5,000 interval another star on the roof line of East Kootenay Regional is lit.

“It’s been a glorious way to highlight the generosity of donors and makes a significant impact for funding medical equipment and/or patient comforts at hospitals and health care sites in the region,” Grainger said.

Last year the EKRH Starmakers erected a surprise extra-large star on the highest roof point at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital.  On November 28 that Star and stars for Eagles Nest RV Resort (Judy’s Star) and the BMO (Bank of Montreal) will light up to signify the start of the annual campaign.

“We made some smaller starts to go across the roof line and in future years, other stars will go across the new ER.”

This year, the Starlite Campaign is focusing fundraising on new equipment for the new six-bed ICU currently under construction at EK Regional. The goal of this year’s Starlite Campaign is $150,000, but the overall goal for the ER fundraising is $1 million in 17 months. The campaigns are sort of separate and sort of combined.

“It’s not too often a foundation has to combine fundraising campaigns (annual and capital) together but being as unique as we are in the East Kootenay, Starlite and the ICU working in conjunction makes this holiday giving season even more meaningful,” said Grainger.

“The ICU treats the sickest of the sick — trauma, strokes, heart attacks. This ICU is incredibly important for the whole region. Every year, we’ve been very successful. Our campaign to raise a million dollars for the mammography was finished in 13 months”

Regional health care auxiliaries, although independent from the hospital, do support the Starlite Campaign. For instance, Grainger says, the Kimberley Health Care Auxiliary is about to give $40,000 this year, with a goal of assisting in the ER equipment fundraising.

Much of the funding raised by the Starlite Campaign goes back out to the region as well, Grainger says.

“EKFH put out $530,000 in funding across the region since the Starlite Campaign began, so money that we got in has already gone back out.”

Donations can be made at your local hospital or healthcare facility, through Canada Post – EKFH, 13 24th Ave N, Cranbrook, BC or on-line:  For more information or to schedule a presentation about the Starlite or ICU campaigns contact Donna Grainger, EKFH Executive Director at 1-877-489-6481 or email:

Grainger reminds you that a gift to health care helps light the path for others.

“Whether it is your wish to support your local community or bring the best in Intensive Care to the regional hospital, a gift to the Starlite Campaign truly benefits the quality of care for you, your friends and family.

“And holiday giving is a great opportunity to remember someone with a gift to health care.”