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20th anniversary QEH/Eastlink Telethon exceeds goal of $500,000

May 29, 2016

[Charlottetown] The 2016 QEH/Eastlink Telethon, broadcast live on Saturday and Sunday from Eastlink’s Stratford studio, raised $580,980 for priority medical equipment at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The QEH is Prince Edward Island’s provincial referral hospital providing health services to approximately 1,000 patients a day.

This weekend, more than 150 individuals volunteered their time as production crew, production assistants, hosts and co-hosts, interviewers, performers and telephone operators for the two-day 18-hour event.

The telethon included live performances by more than 30 acts and 12 grateful patient interviews.

“We’re so grateful for the generosity of our communities for the donations from individuals, families, businesses and community organizations that make the success of Telethon possible,” says Adam Balderston, Chair of the QEH Foundation Board. “We’re very fortunate for the strong support that we receive from the QEH family of communities. It’s a win-win situation because having the best possible equipment means better quality healthcare for patients,” says Balderston.

Medical equipment priorities for the QEH includes hemodialysis, a pediatric outdoor therapeutic play space, endoscopy, and a diagnostic imaging room.

“The bonus with exceeding our goal is that we are able to fund the entire diagnostic imaging room which we thought we would need to complete during the QEH annual Friends for Life Campaign,” says Chris Whitlock, Chair of the QEH/Eastlink Telethon.

There’s an emotional side as well to having the best possible medical equipment, says QEH Foundation Chief Executive Officer Barb Dunphy: “Through grateful patient stories you quickly realize how having the right equipment here, at home in Prince Edward Island, eases the emotional strain for both patients and families. In addition, we were so delighted to see young philanthropists and their creative initiatives to support the QEH. We just know there are conversations happening around the dinner table about giving,” says Dunphy.

The QEH Auxiliary are in a multi-year pledge from last year’s telethon, but came back this year with a gift in honour of the QEH/Eastlink Telethon’s 20th anniversary and in honour of the Auxiliary’s 35th Anniversary for a total of $55,000.

Staff of Diversified Metal Engineering have given to the QEH Foundation through payroll deduction for a number of years. This year, Peter Toombs, President of DME, presented a generous gift of $40,000 to match the generous giving of DME employees.

Parkdale-Sherwood Lions Club donated $20,000 in honour of the 20th Anniversary Telethon and surprised organizers with an additional $31,000 to bring their cumulative giving to the QEH Foundation to $500,000. Parkdale-Sherwood Lions is the first service club to reach that level of giving on the QEH Foundation donor wall.

For the 20th year in a row, well-known local emcee, Marlene MacDonald, anchored the host’s desk during the 18-hour event: “This telethon has grown tremendously over the years and has become a true Island tradition. In twenty years we’ve had donations that have ranged from buckets of pennies to commitments for tens of thousands of dollars. Every donation counts and it’s just wonderful.”

Bruce MacLean, regional manager, P.E.I. with Eastlink TV, says that Eastlink production volunteers take a lot of pride in working on the telethon: “It takes a lot of planning and production effort to do a live, two-day event. We’re happy to partner with the QEH Foundation because it’s a great cause and so many others are part of the effort into making each telethon a success.”

It’s not too late to make a donation to the 2016 QEH/Eastlink Telethon. Call the QEH Foundation at (902) 894-2425, or go online to the Foundation’s website at