A couple of years ago, Supreme announced an initiative to
encourage Councils to purchase ultra sound machines for organizations that help
women cope with pregnancies. Supreme announced that they would pay half of the
cost of a unit.
With that in mind, Father Bonner Council member Andrew
Tarnowski set out to see if we could acquire such a unit for the Edmonton
Pregnancy Crisis Centre. Under Brother Andrew's guidance and diligence 50% of
the required funds were raised, and the application was sent to Supreme for the
remaining 50%. However, Supreme did not send funds, stating that they were
concerned about Canadian laws.
A decision was then made to "go it on our own"
and continue fund-raising. With the generosity of several Councils, Assemblies
and Columbus Clubs the required funds were raised with the result that the
Edmonton Pregnancy Crisis Centre was given a check for more than $33,000 which
enabled them to purchase the unit.
It has been a very frustrating road for Brother Andrew
and for our Council, but due to persistence and dedication we became the first
Canadian Council to enable a pregnancy center to purchase a unit.
At the completion of the fund-raising, Brother Andrew sent this email:
As you probably recall from our previous correspondence, on October 04,
2010 we applied to Supreme Office for their Ultrasound Initiative.
We sent them the complete package as required by their Guidelines, plus all kind of information on both Federal and Provincial legislations and positions on the use of Ultrasound machines, as envisioned at the Edmonton Pregnancy Crisis Centre.
We never heard back from Supreme re: 50% cost sharing, so we went on a “Second-half” fundraising starting this past June, after an Edmonton Chapter meeting. Thirty-four Councils and Assemblies donated to the “Edmonton Chapter Ultrasound Project” (as distinct from Supreme’s “Ultrasound Initiative”).
A motion was passed that if we ever received a cheque from Supreme (they never turned down our application), the donating Councils and Assemblies would vote on either starting a second fundraiser to supply a second Pregnancy Crisis Centre in Alberta with an ultrasound machine; or proportionately redistributing these funds to the donors.
End of September this year we donated $33,600 to EPCC ($32,000 + GST $1,600) for the purchase of a Sonosite M-Turbo 2D ultrasound machine. This equipment was invoiced directly to EPCC. EPCC’s Doctor and Sonographer found this machine to be appropriate for the purpose it is needed by the Centre, when it was demonstrated to them on July 23, 2010.
This equipment was selected after having received information and prices on Ultrasound machines new and used, both from the States and Canada : the closest price was for a used ones, with only three or six months warranty (versus 60 months on this new Sonosite), coming in at CAD $50,000.00
We donated a further $6,000 to EPCC for what we called the “Ultrasound Expenses Reserve Fund”, for such things as a wall-mounted large TV monitor for the expectant mothers to be able to see without the Sonographer having to turn the ultrasound machine towards them all the time. But mostly for the costs of possible substitute Sonographers to take over from Mrs. Cindy Alton, should she be unavailable at a time when a “client” would show up at EPCC : EPCC is developing a list of Sono- graphers mostly working at Caritas Health’s two Catholic Hospitals in Edmonton, that would be willing to step-in on short notice, for a fee.