It is not even a surprise anymore when the Chatham-Kent community steps up to help a great cause.

Such as the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation’s Christmas Wish Tree. The goal this time was to raise $100,000. Instead they hit $206,644, well over double their goal.

“I am constantly in awe of the kindness and generosity of the Chatham-Kent community and the commitment shown to our hospital,” said Mary Lou Crowley, the President and CEO of CKHAF. “Our community members consistently show compassion through their willingness to give and support the highest quality health care possible.”

The success of this year’s campaign can be vastly attributed to the generosity of retired local business owners Bob & Robin Hockney, who helped inspire the community to give back to local health care. The pair, who have lived in Chatham-Kent for 31 years, offered to match every donation received in November up to $25,000. After the community met that challenge, the couple went even further to see if Chatham-Kent could match an additional $25,000 on Giving Tuesday. In 24 hours, the Chatham-Kent residents exceeded that goal by raising 27,978 for the campaign.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges, it presented an exciting opportunity for us to host our first-ever live broadcast of the tree lighting ceremonies at the CHKA’s hospital sites in Wallaceburg and Chatham,” said CKHAF Board Chair Greg Hetherington. “We were able to reach a wider audience than ever before. It created an opportunity for everyone to see us light up our Christmas Wish Trees and celebrate the lives of our loved ones.”

All proceeds will go towards a new Urodynamics Machine for Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s Chatham site and a new Bladder Scanner for the Wallaceburg site. The two pieces of equipment are among the remaining items needed to complete the hospital’s Urology unit.