It’s a metaphorical farewell before the actual one.
Staff – both current and former – of the Campbell River Hospital will gather Saturday, June 10 to celebrate their time serving the community and bid adieu to that chapter of their lives in advance of the new facility opening its doors this coming September.
“A lot of great things happened in this hospital,” says farewell party organizer Sue McCormac. “A lot of fun was had and a lot of great memories were made here, so we, as employees, felt we should have an ‘end of an era’ party to celebrate all of those great things before we move over and have to physically say goodbye to it.”
“It’s kind of bitter-sweet for us old-timers,” agrees Rita Valen, who is also helping organize the event next weekend. “I mean, we’ve spent so much of our time here over the years; it’s like a home away from home. And the place is coming down. We’re very excited about the new hospital, and we’re happy to move on to that chapter of our life, but there’s lots of good things we want to celebrate about the old one, too.”
The party, Valen says, should be a gathering like no other she’s ever been a part of.
“It’ll be like a big class reunion, I think, is a good way to put it. I’m really excited about some of the faces that people are going to see again that they haven’t seen for a long time. We’ll have lots of time to reminisce and we’re putting together some skits and songs, we’ll have an open mic. More than anything else, we just want it to be an opportunity for people to socialize and see people they maybe haven’t seen in a long time, share some stories and talk about all of the fun things that have happened here over the years.”
So organizers are looking for “anybody who has been part of our team here,” Valen says. “Whether they were staff, physicians or volunteers. We’ve also invited all the ambulance guys, because they’re very much a part of our team here. I’m telling anyone who asks me about tickets to ask themselves, ‘who do you want to see that you haven’t for a while?’ and invite them, too.”
Besides the fun stories and chance to catch up with old friends, there will also be a cash bar – with safe rides home provided for a minimum $5 donation to Cameryn’s Cause – and food.
“We will have some food, but people are also welcome to bring an appetizer of some kind to share if they’d like,” McCormac says. “And best of all, it’s cheap.”
Tickets are only $10 in advance or $20 at the door – and only $5 for those 65 years or over – and can be purchased at the Campbell River Hospital Foundation office at the hospital itself.
Tickets can also be purchased by contacting McCormac at 250-850-2141 (ext. 62862) or Valen at 250-850-2608.