RED DEER -- The 2020 Festival of Trees faced challenged this year in terms of operation. Due to COVID-19 public health measures, the event had to be closed to the public.

However, people were still able to view and bid on hundreds of silent auction items and trees online.

“Thanks to the generosity of our community, donors, sponsors, and the help of our volunteers, the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation (RDRHF) will be able to fund part of the electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) project for RDRHF and other healthcare centres in rural Central Alberta,” said Red Deer Regional Health Foundation Marketing and Communications Manager Travis Kuschminder.

The foundation also held its first Christmas Jingle Cash Lottery with the money raised also going towards the EFM project.

“Our first ever Christmas Jingle Cash Lottery was also a success, not only by assisting the funding efforts but also giving away $17,500 in cash prizes to five winners,” said Kuschminder.

Planning is also underway for the 2021 Red Deer Hospital Lottery which will have over $1.1 million in prizing, including a grand prize dream home located in Red Deer. Proceeds from the lottery will go towards the EFM project.

“Upgrading to an electronic fetal monitoring system is an enormous project that will take place across a number of hospitals and healthcare sites in Central Alberta,” said Kuschminder.

“EFM will introduce new features like preset alarms, electronic access to records, and reduced risk of user error through the elimination of a paper-based system.”

Kuschminder said the foundation will continue their fundraising efforts despite their office being closed.

“Although the Foundation office remains closed to the public, we continue our efforts to fulfill a number of funding commitments to enhance healthcare in Central Alberta. We are grateful for the continued support of our donors, volunteers and our community sponsors.”