London Knights score big for St. Joseph’s COVID-19 response

Dr Gillian Kernaghan wears a London knights jersey and holds up a sign thanking the hockey team
Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, President and CEO, St. Joseph’s Health Care London congratulates the London Knights organization for their fundraising efforts during the pandemic.

Nobody could have anticipated the crushing impact COVID-19 would have on nearly all aspects of our lives. The pandemic has ushered in rapid change borne out of necessity to contain the virus – everything from stringent infection control measures and social gathering restrictions, to limits on toilet paper purchases. We are still learning to adapt to a virus we knew little about a year ago.

Last spring, St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation launched a new fund to help raise money for urgent and emerging needs related to the pandemic. To date, The St. Joseph’s Health Crisis Fund has received more than $500,000 in charitable donations from individuals and local businesses – support that has allowed St. Joseph’s to react swiftly to the ever-evolving health care landscape shaped by the pandemic.

Among the fund’s earliest and most generous supporters were the London Knights and the London Knights Alumni Foundation. After the Ontario Hockey League canceled the remaining 2019-20 season, the Knights decided to rebroadcast their 2016 Memorial Cup playoff run and ran a 50/50 draw throughout the campaign in support of The St. Joseph’s Health Crisis Fund. Knights fans came through in a big way, helping raise $27,500! 

But the Knights were not finished. This past summer they hosted a charity golf tournament, which boosted their support to $50,000! These and other donations to the pandemic relief effort have provided a crucial source of funding to help St. Joseph’s adapt to life with this virus.

“We wanted to make sure that we did our part and help the local COVID-19 relief fund as much as possible with the opportunities we had,” says Alex Brown, Director of Marketing and Game Day Operations with the London Knights Hockey Club. “It is really the people of London that helped make this happen and continue to show support for our local needs and charities as we continue to go through such uncertain times.”

Technology was among the most urgent requests from care teams across St. Joseph’s. SMART Boards, tablets and health tracking devices are just a few of the items purchased with donor funds. For elderly residents in our care, these devices kept them connected with friends and family members unable to visit their loved ones. For others, these tools meant their care could continue without leaving home as care teams shifted to innovative virtual solutions.

The fund has also supported critical COVID-19 research, updates to our facilities and morale invigorating refreshments for frontline health care workers.

“The support we received from the community, and in particular, the London Knights organization, has been heartwarming,” says Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, President and CEO, St. Joseph’s Health Care London. “We have felt the community’s love as you enriched the lives of the people we serve and supported our staff, physicians and researchers during this challenging time.”

Throughout this historic global crisis, St. Joseph’s has relied on community support as never before. Donors like the London Knights organization have played an essential role in helping St. Joseph’s successfully navigate these uncertain times while keeping patients, staff and physicians safe.

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