Salmon Arm Secondary students have planned an online charity auction to help fundraise for a new CT scanner and mammography unit for Shuswap Lake Hospital.
Elias Cox and Karver Smith, with help from Justice Skelhorne and Ashleigh Nadin, have joined forces with Shuswap Lake Hospital Foundation and EZ Rock’s Have a Heart Radiothon to support the charity auction, with all proceeds going to the campaign.
“The reason we chose the Shuswap Hospital Foundation was due to the recent pandemic and its effect on the demand for health care. We were also aware that Dancing with the Shuswap Stars was cancelled this year. Due to that, we wanted to provide some extra support,” explained Elias on behalf of the group.
He added that both he and Karver have experience travelling from the local hospital to a more distant one.
“Since the CT scanner is the number-one cause of travelling to a farther hospital, we wanted to reduce how many people have to travel. Plus, the people at the Shuswap Hospital Foundation are very easy to work with and provide plenty of support.”
Elias said they started preparing in December of 2020.
“The first half of it was the actual project process; talking the event over, planning it and setting up a slideshow presentation for our marks. The next step was harder. We quickly realized we did not have the resources to achieve every pipe dream we had, nor did we have the website and poster development skills we would need.”
So they contacted the hospital foundation, which gave them feedback, sharpened their vision and helped make their ideas a reality.
“We also partnered with two students from the school, Justice Skelhorne and Ashleigh Nadin. Justice designed our website, and Ashleigh designed our poster.”
Elias said the auction has been going really well so far.
“The planning and sponsoring hit a few snags since neither of us had our own (working) cars. But we eventually gathered over 40 donations, with a combined estimated value of over $3,000… We are amazed by how helpful and generous this community can be when we band together.”
“It was interesting to learn the ins and outs of a portion of the real world,” Elias noted. “The organizational skills to deal with new unexpected challenges were important to learn quickly, such as how difficult it would be to run a website, and how to present ourselves professionally to customers and companies. The other thing we learned was that everything will be more work and more problems than initially expected.
“We learned quite a lot about the responsibilities needed to facilitate such a large event. All in all, planning this auction has been both a fun and challenging experience, and we are very excited to see the results.”
All items are generously donated by local businesses to help raise funds for charity.
The students took this on as part of their capstone graduation project (which replaced grad transitions when B.C.’s graduation program was updated a few years ago). For those unfamiliar, a capstone project is a multidisciplinary project that serves as a culminating experience for graduating students. More information on Capstone projects is available here.