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Tree of Hope raises more than $16,000

Funds raised will support the cataract surgery program in Westlock
This year’s Tree of Hope campaign ran from Nov. 14 until Jan. 9 and raised more than $16,800 for the Westlock Healthcare and Continuing Care centres. Money will be used to support the cataract surgery program.

WESTLOCK — Cataract surgery patients will benefit from additional supports thanks to the generosity of Westlock residents, who donated  $16,880 to the Westlock Healthcare and Continuing Care centres Tree of Hope campaign.

The eight-annual campaign ran Nov. 14, 2022, to Jan. 9, 2023, and first began as a way for the hospital to fundraise for specific items they need and aren’t funded through Alberta Health Services (AHS).

“We are very happy with that (amount). We have purchased two eye stretchers with it and one transport chair to support the cataract program here,” said Westlock Healthcare Centre site manager Meagan McCoy-McLevin. “Our cataract program is a very active part of our surgical program and so far to date, this fiscal year we’ve done 575 surgeries. We are so grateful to all the community for supporting us year after year.”              

In addition, the program has performed over 6,600 surgeries since 1998 and benefits locals who have to travel outside of Westlock to Edmonton or other cities, but can be treated in town.

During the campaign, residents, organizations, and local businesses, purchased decorations for the Tree of Hope in amounts of $10, $20, $25, $50, $100, $500, $1,000 or $2,000, while a donation of $5,000 lit an angel on top of the tree.

Kristine Jean,