The ultimate Christmas story!

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Added: Wed, 12/19/2018 - 5:18pm
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Allyson Beauregard
Rédacteur / Managing Editor

On December 8, the community gathered at the Pontiac Community Hospital in Shawville to marvel at something that has been over a decade in the making – the Pontiac Dialysis Unit (see page 2). Understandably, the Unit is an enormous source of pride for Pontiac residents since it is one of the most publicly-supported projects the Pontiac has ever undertaken. “Come and see what you helped build” couldn't have been a more accurate statement for the Hospital's invitation to the open house.   
The first donation to the project was made April 11, 2007. Although $37,000 had already been collected, the fundraising campaign was formally launched that October. Initially, the goal was to raise $600,000 over three years to install five chairs to allow Pontiac residents requiring dialysis to receive local treatment rather
than travelling to Gatineau or Ontario several times a week, which burdened the patients as well as their families.
Despite not having government approval for the Unit at the onset, the community pushed forward. “It's better to come from a position of strength and say “we're ready, you're holding us up,” said Dr. John Wooton when the fundraising campaign was formally announced.
Relentlessly, the Pontiac pursued the painstaking process of raising funds,
obtaining provincial commitment and ensuring it didn't dwindle in a time when increased centralization moved many of the region's services to the city where
other projects were prioritized. The hospital and CLSC foundations, hospital staff,
community organizations, dialysis patients and their families, local elected officials, and residents in general all had a hand in the process, all emphasizing the same message: the Dialysis Unit was a priority for the Pontiac.
Although the three year fundraising goal was drastically extended, the $661,653 raised over the years resulted in seven treatment stations, which can accommodate up to 24 patients. Now that's something to be proud of!
But if you stop and think, the Pontiac has so many other success stories of things that happen because of the community – senior's residences, food drives, benefit parties, parks and other recreational infrastructure, much-needed hospital and CLSC equipment, and everything in between. These are more than just great fundraisers, and much-needed services and infrastructure. They
are symbols of generosity, commitment,
perseverance, and unity. Let them be constant reminders of what can be
accomplished when a community works together toward a common goal. These are the ultimate Christmas stories!
Merry Christmas dear readers, and all the best in 2019!