Bby Hospital Foundation wins Metropolis train challenge
Burnaby Hospital Foundation emerged the winner of the Metropolis Express train fundraising challenge, garnering not only the $6,700 raised during November but the $10,000 grand prize.
Last fall, Metropolis at Metrotown sponsored Train Your Charity, in which four Burnaby-based non-profits were each designated a day and a month to drive donations to the mall train. The participating groups were all chosen based on marketing plans they submitted, said Brenda Longland, public and community relations manager for Metropolis at Metrotown.
Each organization received the proceeds from the train during its month, but the grand prize went to the one which raised the most on its designated challenge day. Rides on the Metropolis Express go for a minimum $1 donation.
Burnaby Hospital Foundation raised $1,108 on its November challenge day, just edging out the Adoptive Families Association of B.C., which raised $1,045 on its December challenge day. That group will receive $7,520, the total raised by the train during that month.
Longland said the hospital foundation did have a unique marketing technique. Volunteers dressed like doctors and nurses walked around the mall explaining to people why they were dressed that way to raise awareness and encourage donations.
“The challenge was a rewarding experience that afforded us the opportunity to create awareness about Burnaby Hospital’s urgent equipment needs,” said Marcia Harrison, acting president with Burnaby Hospital Foundation. “It also enabled us to connect with members of the community who wished to share their own personal stories about why they support the hospital.”
The foundation raises money for innovative healthcare equipment, technology, capital projects and educational outreach. The Metropolis donation will help purchase two surgical telescopes often used in minimally-invasive surgical procedures that lead to faster recovery times.
The Adoptive Families Association of B.C. engaged shoppers with facepainting, while Stream of Dreams had people paint fish, which were attached to the train itself, turning it into “a giant salmon run,” Longland said. That group raised $349 on its October day, and will receive $6,315 in total.
Progressive Housing Society kicked off the competition in September, collecting donations of socks for its homeless clients and raising $512 on its day. It will receive a total of $6,271.
All the participating groups used social media and websites to encourage supporters to come out and ride the train.
“You could actually see the difference [in donations] when an organization was there versus a day when they were not,” Longland said.
“Their work made a difference.”
She said mall management will be reviewing the challenge before deciding whether to continue with it for a second year. “We’re certainly really pleased with the results.”
In 2010, fundraising initiatives at Metropolis at Metrotown raised more than $142,000 which will be donated to local charities, including over $67,000 from the train alone.