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$84K donated by local oil and gas workers to support pediatric patients

A local oil and gas company and the people it works with have come together to support children at the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation. Strathcona Resources presented a cheque for $84,000 to the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation Tuesday, along with a pile of stuffed animals.

After seeing a plea on social media for teddy bear donations, employee Steve Walters was inspired to raise money for the hospital’s dwindling plushy supply. His original goal was $5,000, but with the overwhelming help of fellow employees, contractors, and vendors that goal was far surpassed. He says he was blown away by the generosity.

“I think it was important just so that people know that there is support within the community and we do help each other out and we do look after each other. We might be coworkers or vendors or we work for each other… we’re all family and have to look out for each other because that’s the right thing to do.

Vice President of Production Operations Dale Babiak adds the outpouring of generosity exceeded their expectations by a significant amount.

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“We definitely were pleased to support the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital. It definitely is topical for us but also to help those kids who need that support and that comfort, especially in this time of the season.”

Hospital Foundation Philanthropy and Engagement Officer Sally Bellerose says around 10,000 teddy bears are given out each year to kids who come to the hospital to give them a little extra comfort while they are getting treatment. Babiak says anything leftover from buying the teddies will go towards supporting other parts of the pediatric unit.

“The plan is to actually help fund some of the equipment that the foundation requires, that the hospital needs, and we are definitely happy to do so.”

He says supporting the communities that they are in is an important part of their company’s culture. The employees, contractors, and vendors from the area have their own families and have either been impacted by having these services here for their own families or they know someone who has, so being able to give back to the facility directly impacts everyone.

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