Have You Joined the J? – By Tara MacIntosh

Join the J is a campaign with vision – the vision to make a difference through the generous support of the community to provide an exceptional healthcare experience in Burlington. Joining the J means being part of Burlington’s healthcare future and being part of a community of people who truly are making a difference.

The Join the J campaign launched in September 2016. The campaign message is a call to action in support of the expansion and renovations of Joseph Brant Hospital in downtown Burlington. At the time of the launch the Hospital had already raised $50M of their very ambitious $60M fundraising goal, the largest fundraising goal in the history of the Hospital fundraising efforts and most certainly the largest for the city of Burlington. The last $10 million is set to be raised prior to the project completion which is scheduled for early 2019. Anissa Hilborn, President of the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation, is very passionate about this project and the community involvement. She comments, “When we come together as a community, we can achieve great things. Join the J is about the many ways our community can make a difference by supporting leading-practice in healthcare.”

The expansion will create a new Hospital giving the original building, built in 1961, the upgrade it needs to better serve the community. Upon completion, Joseph Brant Hospital will be a new Hospital with an elevated level of service, new physical look and enhanced capabilities. The expansion also includes a brand new seven-story patient tower that will be attached to the existing facility.

The idea was to kick off the Join the J and the public phase of the campaign with an event that would be imaginative, inclusive and garner the attention of as many people as possible. The launch officially took place on September 27th with an attempt to build the largest human letter, specifically the iconic J in the Joseph Brant Hospital logo. In the end, 2334 community members gathered in Spencer Smith Park to form a human J. This was the second largest group of people in the world to create a human letter, just shy of the Guinness World Record. Bringing the community together in this fashion was certainly the perfect way to launch this extraordinary campaign. There are several more community events planned and they will roll out over 2017 and 2018.

Alongside the Join the J campaign is the impressive Pasquale and Anita Paletta Family Match Challenge. Launched on September 27th, 2016, the Paletta Family Match challenge
is an incredible program where the Paletta Family has generously offered to match donations to the Hospital up to $5M. This incredible gift will therefore make it possible to raise the last $10M needed to complete the $60M goal. Anissa Hilborn is understandably filled with gratitude, “We are incredibly thankful to the Paletta family for their extraordinary support. Their commitment to our Hospital and leadership within our community is demonstrated through their decision to create this community match challenge. Through their support, our community can double the impact of their gifts and help us reach our campaign goal, and ultimately our goal of a new Joseph Brant Hospital.”

Joining the J is an opportunity to be part of Burlington’s future. It is about more than making a donation, it is about making a difference in healthcare for Burlington. We look forward to sharing Join the J success stories and celebrating all those who have made the success of the campaign possible.

For more information please visit: jointhej.ca

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