Posted by: pafmurray | May 16, 2009

Some Startling Statistics

As I sat in Fairview the other day selling Duck Race raffle tickets, as a volunteer for the Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation, I was a little disappointed in seeing a long lineup at nearby Loto Quebec kiosk, and the SAQ as well, doing a booming business, as we volunteers, sat at our kiosk and twiddled our thumbs watching and waiting for generous West Islanders to approach.

Only one did!

I then did the math.

The per capita receipted charitable contribution of all in Quebec was $107 in 2007.

The per capita Loto Quebec expenditure was $509, at the SAQ $304, and on beer the per capita was about $265.

The people of QC spent over 10 times as much on gambling, wine, liquor and beer, than they donated to charity in 2007.

What would West Islanders do tomorrow if Quebec’s Minister of Health announced that the LGH would permanently close down in six months due to lack of public support?

Would we protest in letters to editors, to our MNAs and to the Minister of Health? Would we organize transportation to the National Assembly in Quebec City and demonstrate by the hundreds, if not thousands, to protest the closing down of this major necessity for all on the West Island, Vaudreuil, etc?

Of course we would!

Why must it take something drastic, like the potential closing of a hospital, for the people that it serves, to rally around and fully support it?

Don’t people realize that it is important and in their best interest to give financial support to their hospital, even if only by a small percentage of what they spend in casinos, on lottery/scratch tickets, plus wine, liquor and beer?

Last year the 377,000 people in the region served by our hospital, contributed $1.4 million to its foundation.* That amounts to only $3.71 per person, less than half the cost of the least expensive bottle of wine available!

Last year only 5,400 of the 12,000 LGH Ducks were adopted. I can not begin to tell you how dejected the other 6,600 ducks felt. It was truly heartbreaking to see them weep because they could not make the trip down to Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue’s waterfront and enter the race.

This is what these poor ducks live for, train for and look forward to doing every year.

What will happen if the Government of QC finds out how well we support the Lakeshore General? Will they decide to turn the hospital into a combined SAQ/beer outlet and casino, something that West Islanders would really, really support!

One may purchase LGHF annual duck race tickets by calling 514-694-4444. Please tell them that Murray the Volunteer sent you. On behalf of all the ducks that you will save from dejection, and all of us volunteers who spend far too much time twiddling our thumbs, I thank you!

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