Carleton Place hospital kicks off fundraising campaign for a new Emergency Department

CARLETON PLACE, ONT. — The Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital Foundation has launched its $4 million community-driven campaign for a newly built Emergency Department.

The official kick-off took place Saturday at the Jock River Jam Music Festival near Carleton Place, Ont.  

“We are a very rural municipality and country music is a big part of our culture,” said Richard Kidd, Reeve of Beckwith Township. “It’s great to be able to do this now.”

The sound of country music reminds Carleton Place resident Lori Cavanagh of her late father Thomas, the founder of Cavanagh Construction who passed away in 2019.

“He’s here with us in spirit for sure,” said Cavanagh. “This is his type of event. Dad loved country music.”

For Cavanagh, the music festival was also an opportunity to help kick-off the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Healthy Futures Together campaign.

The hospital serves Carleton Place and its surrounding communities including west Ottawa.

“We’re raising funds for needed patient equipment and renovations to the hospital,” said Robyn Arsenault. “The current hospital needs a lot of development, starting with a $4 million campaign.”

The foundation already raised $2.4 million.  On Saturday, they received their biggest donation to date— $1 million from the Cavanagh family.

The foundation also announced the new emergency department would be named The Thomas Cavanagh Emergency Department.

“Having the emergency department named after my dad is just another way to honour his legacy of giving,” said Cavanagh.

More than 18,000 people walk through the emergency doors a year. That number is expected to grow in the coming years.

Construction on the $10 million state-of-the-art facility is expected to break ground in about a year, thanks in part to meaningful donations made by members of the community. 

“He was my dad but to the community he was a larger-than-life guy. He was very generous. And we knew that,” she said. “We really didn’t know about the gifts and help until after he passed.”

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