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Gerald art 205wA heartfelt thank-you goes out to eight-year-old artist Alex and the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation for the cool artwork!

In recognition of Flagstaff County's recent $100,000 donation to the Stollery Children's Hospital, we have been gifted with this framed masterpiece. Cyndi Matthews, development officer with the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation, made the heartwarming presentation to County Reeve Gerald Kuefler on Thursday, September 22, 2016, at the County administration office.

art04 250wAlex is a “Stollery Kid,” who beat the odds. As stated in the bio accompanying his colourful drawing, “Alex was born at 24 weeks and at only one week old, doctors felt he was not going to make it. His parents used skin-to-skin contact and Alex ended up stabilizing. At almost five months old, Alex was able to go home, with oxygen and a feeding tube. Today, Alex is happy and healthy!”

In June, County Council unanimously approved a motion to donate $100,000 to the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. The donation has been earmarked for the Foundation’s Battle River Community Initiative to help fund a new pediatric operating room at the hospital.

The Battle River Community Fundraising Initiative is the product of a group of dedicated family members and others from the community. Last year, they set a goal of raising $500,000 by the end of 2016 to fund a new pediatric OR that will be named the Battle River Community Room.

Operating room redevelopment is part of an extensive expansion underway at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Plans include renovating the five current operating theatres and expanding to add five more operating theatres to improve patient care and provide timely access to all children requiring surgery.

Operating room space has been identified as a critical need at the hospital that is positioned as a western Canadian hub for pediatric cardiac surgery and organ transplants, serving one of the largest catchment areas in the world. Demand for OR space outstrips capacity, according to the latest statistics from the hospital, leading to waitlists and cancellations of critical surgeries and procedures for children and youth.

To support this initiative, donate online at www.stollerykids.com, call 1-877-393-1411 or mail a cheque to: Stollery Children’s Foundation; 800 College Plaza; 8215 112 St., Edmonton, AB; T6G 2C8. Select “Battle River Community Initiative” when donating online, or reference it when calling or mailing in your donation.

Thank you again, Alex! Best of health and happiness to you!