The Nanton Bomber Command Museum was filled with the sounds of the 40's, as the High River District Health Care Foundation hosted its 32nd Annual Dinner & Auction on October 13.

Executive Director for the High River District Health Care Foundation Michael Brown says it's been awhile since they've been to this venue.

"This year for the first time in 20 years we held it down in Nanton at the Bomber Command Museum, and the funds raised from that is going towards the 'Delivering a Better Experience Campaign', where we're raising funds to renovate the maternity unit, here at the High River Hospital."

Brown says the event was more than an ordinary dinner.

"We had about 420 people attend the dinner, it was loads of fun. We had raffles, auctions and the feature of the night as far as I'm concerned, is we had a 17 piece big band: 'The Fox Big Band' out of Calgary and they were absolutely fantastic. They were playing big band music out of the 1940's and we had people dancing right up to midnight when everything got shut down."

Raising money for the renovation of the High River Maternity Ward is no small cost, but Brown says the dinner was well attended and well supported.

"The exciting part is, the official accounting isn't done yet, but I did some back of the napkin accounting of the revenues from the auctions, tickets sales and raffles and I'm expecting we will net, after all our expenses are covered, the money will go towards the maternity ward project is $110,000 out of this one evening."

Brown says he's confident this money will be put to good use.

"So this hospital was built in 1984, basically for most moms delivering here now, the hospital is older than they are. We just felt there is a local priority to give our staff the facilities to let them do their job better, and make sure the experience the moms have here is fabulous. For example, the existing rooms are cramped leaving little room for a partner to come in and be there for delivery. We're doing a renovation to make those rooms more spacious."

Additional room is not the only thing in store for the hospital maternity ward, according to Brown.

"Unique to this project, is three of the rooms are going to have built in birthing/labouring tubs built in. A tub to labour in is a feature that lots of moms love, so we are going to be one of two facilities in Alberta to have them in the rooms."

Brown smiles as he says this project is especially important to his family.

"I became a grandfather just recently, so this all the more cool to me!"


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