The Stuart Nechako Regional Hospital District received an $81,625 boost in funding recently according to a Village of Burns Lake in camera release.
The money was willed to the hospital district to go towards the funding for a new hospital by the late Evelyn MacEwen.
Sheryl Worthing, village chief administrative officer said, “Evelyn MacEwen was the widow of Dr. E. Bruce MacEwen, a man who practiced dentistry in Burns Lake for many years.”
According to Worthing, Dr. MacEwen was one of the founders of the Burns Lake Rotary Club.
“Dr. and Mrs. MacEwen lived in Burns Lake for around 60 years and were very active members of the community. This was their home,” she added.
“I am told by a close friend of the MacEwen’s that given the combination of these bits of history, it seemed most appropriate that Mrs. MacEwen willed her estate to the community since there were no direct descendants to fall heir to the estate.”
MacEwen also willed her home and its content to the Burns Lake Rotary Club.
As reported in the Lakes District News edition of April 18, 2012, the cost of the new hospital is estimated at approximately $55 million dollars, requiring a 20 per cent capital contribution from the Stuart Nechako Regional Hospital District.
Usually 60 per cent of the project’s cost is funded by the province and a 40 per cent contribution is required from a hospital district, however with more hospitals needing replacement and a small tax base, John Rustad, Nechako Lakes MLA said it would be unrealistic for the province to request a 40 per cent contribution.
Hans Berndorff treasurer of the Stuart Nechako Regional Hospital District said the account holds $4 million, not including the donation from MacEwan, which he says has not been received yet.
The approximate contribution required by the district totals $11 million, minus $2.2 million that has already been spent for the planning costs associated with the project.
According to Berndorff, aside from MacEwen’s donation, a further $60,000 has come from donations made by community members.