Mad about Trenton Memorial

Master of ceremonies and main mad hatter Darcy Elder embraces his role Saturday at the at the Mad Hatter's Ball in Trenton. The ball was the latest edition of the annual Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation gala. Luke Hendry/The Intelligencer

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TRENTON — They were mad, but the hatters who turned up for this year’s Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation gala were also happy to support local health care.

The Mad Hatter’s Ball at the Knights of Columbus Hall put guests into a Wonderland-themed setting. There were both oversized and tiny top hats, brightly-coloured ties and (sometimes fake) hair among the minglers.

“As always, it’s elegant, but people are having a lot of fun with the theme,” said Laura-Lee Bradie, the foundation’s events and stewardship manager.

The night’s focus was the need to raise more than $183,000 for a new ultrasound machine.

“Last year it was used about 9,000 times,” Bradie said.

The current machine still functions, Bradie said, but a new one will be state-of-the-art with better image resolution.

“There’s a positive momentum with the foundation right now,” foundation executive director Wendy Warner said.

This year’s foundation golf classic raised $102,000 and other programs have also brought in significant funds.

Locals remain dedicated to the cause, Warner said.

“They’ve always been generous and they’ve always been supportive but they are really coming out loud and strong.

“We’ve got more physicians here tonight than we’ve probably ever had,” she noted.

She also said the hospital and its foundation serve many people beyond Quinte West’s borders. Patients come from roughly Colborne to Deseronto and North Hastings to Prince Edward County.

“We have a lot of services that are only in Trenton,” she said.

Regional services provided in Trenton include ophthalmology, including cataract surgery; the domestic violence and sexual assault response program; cystoscopy for bladder cancer screening; colposcopy for cervical cancer screening; dental surgery; and urodynamics, such as treatment of incontinence.

Warner said it’s encouraging to see people from outside the municipality supporting the cause.

“We have lots to cheer about this year.”

Toronto’s Orest Rojik, foreground, gets into the spirit of the evening. With him from left were Doug and Silke Ernewein of Innisfil and Anke Rojik. Luke Hendry

She said the foundation is likely about halfway to the $1.7-million goal set for this fiscal year, which ends March 31.

The ball’s returning master of ceremonies was Darcy Elder, the retired CFB Trenton chief warrant officer. He wore a huge top hat over a frizzy pink wig and a very loud, multicoloured tie.

“Johnny Depp’s got nothing on me,” quipped Elder, referring to the star of two Wonderland films.

Now an Ottawa resident, Elder said he supports the foundation because when he and his wife, Tammy, moved to Trenton, “The community opened their doors and their hearts to us.

“It’s all about giving back to the community through the foundation,” he said, adding the foundation and hospital better the lives of patients.

The total amount raised won’t be known until early this week.

To donate or learn more, visit tmhfoundation.com or call 613-392-2540 ext. 5401.

Andrew and Rhonda Bennett of Trenton step into Wonderland. The night raised funds for the Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation’s purchase of a new ultrasound machine. Luke Hendry

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