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MLF Memorial Tournament Passes $700,000 Raised in 13 years for Local Health Care

From left, the team of Nick Spaling, Scott Cherrey, Tyson Cherrey, Tim Clark and Brian Debeyer were the winners of this year's Mary Lynne Forrest Memorial Golf Tournament with a score of 17-under par.


PIKE LAKE – On July 19 a total of 146 golfers hit the links at Pike Lake Golf Centre to enjoy a great day of golf, and pay tribute to a dear friend and family member, at the 13th annual Mary Lynne Forrest (MLF) Memorial Golf Tournament.

This year’s event had a goal of raising $50,000 for the Palmerston and District Hospital Foundation to assist with the purchase of a mobile x-ray unit for the Palmerston and District Hospital.

Greg Shaw, a member of the organizing committee for this year’s MLF tournament, said the committee is optimistic that goal will be reached.

“We’re still finalizing some numbers, but we’re optimistic,” he said on July 20.

The MLF tournament has raised more than $700,000 in 13 years for the Louise Marshall Hospital Foundation and the Palmerston and District Hospital Foundation.

Adding to the atmosphere at this year’s event was the lack of electricity, as a dump truck hit a hydro pole north of Mount Forest earlier in the day, knocking out the power at Pike Lake and much of the surrounding area.

“It was about 3 p.m. and someone asked me what we were going to do, and I said, ‘it is what it is,’” said Shaw.

When the time came to start cooking and there was still no sign of power, Shaw said that it became “a throwback to the old days.”

“We moved everything outside,” said Shaw. “The kitchen staff were awesome and cooked everything outside on the grill, we ate off of paper plates, and everyone just came together to make sure the event went on.”

“It was a really cool atmosphere,” he added. “It was like a throwback to the old days of Pike Lake when everyone did what they had to do, no matter what their title was.”

The live auction, conducted by Barry Gray from Gray’s Auction Service in Harriston, was once again a success. Featured items this year included an autographed Auston Matthews jersey, box seats to a Justin Bieber concert, an Olympic golf flag signed by the 2016 Canadian Olympic golfers, and David Hearn’s Canadian Olympic team golf bag, signed by the former Pike Lake junior member.

“It couldn’t have went any better, even if we did have power,” said Shaw. “It was a great day, and we’re grateful for the support of the sponsors, donors and golfers.”

Dale Franklin, development officer for the Palmerston and District Hospital Foundation, said that the foundation is grateful for the Forrest family and the MLF tournament.

“We’re grateful for the commitment to local hospitals shown by George Forrest and the organizing committee of the Mary Lynne Forrest Memorial Golf Tournament,” said Franklin. “George and his daughters Brandy, Christa and Sheree, along with their team at Pike Lake, will be providing a huge kick start to the campaign to purchase a mobile x-ray Unit for the Palmerston and District Hospital.”

The mobile x-ray machine s digital, and Franklin says it will provide improved imaging, and be much faster than traditional methods. She also said that it will be agile enough to be moved easily throughout the hospital.

“This will allow this vital diagnostic service to be brought directly to the bedside of patients who are too seriously ill or injured to be assessed by standard x-ray technology,” she said.

Franklin explained that the funds raised from the MLF tournament is the start of the fundraising campaign for the mobile x-ray unit, with this coming fall’s Radiothon campaign also setting a goal to fundraise for the machine. It is hoped that the hospital will be able to purchase the machine and bring it into use this year in Palmerston.

“Seeing smiling faces and receiving hugs from so many people that were so much a part of my mom is what it is all about for us,” said Christa Cherrey in a post on Facebook following the event. “We were raised surrounded by family and friends, and friends who are family, and we thank you for making this day so special for us… Thank you to all the golfers, volunteers, those who donated prizes, live and silent auction items, cash donations, hole sponsors, corporate sponsors - none of the tournaments success would be possible without all of you.”


This year’s MLF tournament also marked the end of an era, as Dave “Benny” Benn officially ended his tenure with the tournament committee.

Benn started with the event 28 years ago, back when it was the Special Olympics fundraising tournament. That event morphed in to the MLF 13 years ago, with Benn at the helm along with George Forrest.

During a brief speech at the MLF tournament, Benn encouraged the younger people in attendance to start volunteering in the community, as he sees a shortage of younger volunteers not just at the tournament, but at various other fundraisers and groups as well.

“It’s amazing the commitment he has given to this event, and to committee,” said Shaw. “The MLF tournament wouldn’t be where it is today without the contributions of Benny.”

by Mike Wilson - Minto Express

Harriston Boy 'paying it forward' to Palmerston and District Hospital

HARRISTON — Four-year-old Lawson King of Harriston has been through a lot the past few months.

On May 27, while playing in his backyard on the swings, he had an accident that resulted in two of his teeth being pulled and the bone in the roof of his mouth being surgically reattached.

“He was playing on the swings, on his belly like all kids do,” recalled his mother, Caitlin King. “Then the seat slid out, caught his face and he got hurt.”

Lawson, Caitlin and Lawson’s father, Trevor, rushed over to the Palmerston and District Hospital that night. Lawson, in shock from his injury, was comforted by two things that the staff at the hospital did: the doctor allowed him to watch the TV show Paw Patrol on his phone, and one of the emergency room nurses game him a teddy bear.

“He was so brave,” recalled Caitlin. “I get a canker and I am a wreck for a week, and here he was, in obvious pain, and he was so great.”

Lawson was sent to London, where a team surgically repaired his mouth, but it was the kindness of the staff at Palmerston that stuck with him.

Recently, Lawson asked his mother if they could go to Walmart and pick out some stuffed animals to give to the hospital.

“He just came and asked us one day if we could go and get some stuffed animals to give to the hospital, so that other boys and girls could feel better like he did,” recalled Caitlin. “I said, ‘Absolutely.’”

So, off to the store they went, where they bought two teddy bears — one boy and one girl — and dropped them off at the hospital on Aug. 4.

“I wanted to give the teddy bears in case another little boy or girls needs one when they’re at the hospital,” said Lawson.

Dale Franklin, development officer for the Palmerston and District Hospital Foundation, said she loved the donation.

"I love this little donation from our pint-sized philanthropist," she said.

Today, that teddy Lawson got at the Palmerston hospital is still with him. The bear affectionately known as “TrevorCaitlin” sleeps with Lawson at night, and is by his side on long road trips to see family.

Caitlin said she couldn’t be prouder of Lawson.

“I cry every time I think about it, because it’s the sweetest thing,” she said. “Not a lot of kids do that. Obviously, when he got the teddy, it made a big impact on him. We couldn’t be prouder of him.”

by Mike Wilson from Minto Express

CKNX 16th Annual Health Care Heroes Radiothon A Big Success

This year’s CKNX Health Care Heroes Radiothon was another huge success.

Health Care Heroes - The total raised for area hospitals through the 2017 CKNX Health Care Heroes Radiothon stood at $321,000 and counting as the event wrapped up on Oct. 21. Station staff and volunteers gathered at the event included Palmerston and District Hospital Foundation development officer and radiothon chair Dale Franklin (front row, second from right) and Louise Marshall Hospital development officer Jane Ford (back row, seventh from left).

Hospitals in Palmerston and Mount Forest will benefit from a share of more than $300,000 raised during the 2017 CKNX Health Care Heroes Radiothon on Oct. 21. 

The annual radiothon event has a 16-year tradition of generating fundraising dollars to support medical equipment upgrades at eight area hospitals, including Palmerston and District Hospital (PDH) and Louise Marshall Hospital in Mount Forest.

During the all-day broadcast on AM920, many donations were called in through six open phone lines, and some were hand delivered to the CKNX studio. These include some special gifts from local businesses including, West Wawanosh Mutual Insurance, Hay Mutual Insurance, Germania Mutual Insurance, Howick Mutual Insurance, and the Lucknow Kinsmen. All donated significant funds toward the event, states a press release from radiothon chair Dale Franklin, development officer for the PDH Foundation. 

The broadcast featured stories from hospital patients and descriptions of the urgent medical equipment needs at each hospital, including defibrillators, sterilization equipment, IV pumps, anesthetic machines, heart monitors and mobile x-ray machine.

When the radiothon went off air at 5pm, the grand total for the day was $321,427. 

This total will grow as the eight hospital foundations continue to collect contributions directly towards their projects until the end of the year.

Hospitals in Chesley, Goderich, Listowel, Seaforth and Wingham will also benefit from radiothon funds. 

Since it began in 2002, the CKNX Healthcare Heroes Radiothon has raised more than $10 million to sustain quality rural health care throughout the rural communities of mid-western Ontario.

Thank you to all those who continue to make this event an outstanding success each and every year.

Helping Hands Raffle Generates Thousands of Dollars For Local Charities

HARRISTON — The Palmerston and District Hospital, the Louise Marshall Hospital and the Saugeen Valley Children’s Safety Village recently received a $27,280 boost thanks to Germania Mutual Insurance and the thousands of people who purchased a Helping Hands Charity Raffle ticket.

The Helping Hands Charity Raffle draw took place Tuesday night, Oct. 11 at the Minto Fire Harriston station. Dan Hill, president and CEO of Germania, and Dale Franklin, development officer for the Palmerston and District Hospital Foundation, conducted the draw that saw 10 lucky winners selected for more than $18,000 in prizes.

Germania purchased all of the prizes for the draw in an effort to raise funds and awareness for the local charities and do something a little different at the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo held in Harriston last month.

Hill said with the tens of thousands of people expected to attend the IPM, the company opted to raise funds for worthy causes as opposed to doing giveaways.

“Instead of giving away pens, we took that money and put it to good use,” he explained. “We decided to run a fundraising raffle and keep the money in the community and do good right here.”

The raffle also raised awareness of the work these organizations do in local communities and got people involved with a solid cause, Hill continued. He thanked the committee members, members of Minto Fire who volunteered, and said ticket-buyers were pleased to support the raffle.

“Once you mentioned it was for the hospitals, people were already getting their money out,” he said. “Fire prevention, safety and the Children’s Safety Village is something we’ve supported since it started, and the two hospitals are really no-brainers.”

“The charities applaud Germania for their innovative approach to helping children and local hospitals,” said Ford. “All the charities have been recipients of funding from Germania in the past and this continued corroboration is appreciated.”

The three charities will receive equal proceeds from the raffle. Originally a fourth charity, Minto Fire declined being a participant and instead assisted with the tent design and provided volunteers.

The winners of the raffle are:

  • • Toy John Deere tractor and wagon: Brian Bartley
  • • 12 V battery back-up sump pump: Grace Mulvey
  • • Toy John Deere Gator: Laverne Metzger
  • • Diamond Pro gas pressure washer: Bob Landis
  • • Poly Muskoka deck chairs and end table: Mike Ross
  • • Broil King Regal propane barbecue: Mandy Reigling
  • • Honda generator: Douglas French
  • • Cub Cadet riding lawn mower: Anna Czemiel
  • • $3,000 Transat travel gift card: Darrel Nanticoke
  • • 2016 Polaris Sportsman 450 ATV: Susan Scheerer

Minto Express by Shannon Burrows


  • Our Mission

  • Palmerston and District Hospital Foundation is a strong partner for the perpetuation of quality rural health care. Working with NWHC, its staff, and the local community, we will create a spirit of giving, goodwill, and support for our hospital.
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  • Palmerston and District Hospital Foundation
  • 500 Whites Road, P.O. Box 130
  • Palmerston, ON N0G 2P0
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  • Development Officer: Dale Franklin
  • Phone: (519) 343-2030, ext. 4402
  • Main Fax: (519) 343-3821