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Northern Lights Health Foundation’s Spring Fling, presented by Syncrude Canada Ltd. raises $195,000 for healthcare in Wood Buffalo


Fort McMurray, Alberta – Over 500 beautifully dressed guests gathered at Shell Place on Saturday March 24th, 2018 for the Northern Lights Health Foundation’s 31st annual Spring Fling, presented by Syncrude Canada Ltd. The event’s Kentucky Derby theme was a hit with everyone and the commitment to the theme was outstanding!

“We were overwhelmed with the number of companies and individuals who chose to invest in local healthcare through the Kentucky Derby event,” says Melanie Antoine, Board Chair of the Northern Lights Health Foundation. “Over 75 sponsors and local vendors helped create the theme, the prizing, and the live and silent auction items. It is thanks to the outstanding support of sponsors and guests that we are able to host this fabulous friend and fundraising event every year and showcase the Health Foundation and the local AHS healthcare team.”

Guests were entertained by Karman Muir, Them Hot Olives, and DJ Q-Pid. Attendees enjoyed a buffet dinner, live and silent auctions, and a wildly delightful horse race featuring local radio personalities. “Our local disk-jockeys exchanged their on-air personalities to become race-horse jockeys in a race for charitable donations,” said Jessica Lipton, Events Manager. “There was so much action in the room, everyone was engaged and contributed to the success of the event!”

Antoine also provided a Gratitude Campaign update from the Health Foundation.

“We were pleased to announce new leadership donors to the Gratitude Campaign projects. The projects are needed more than ever and we appreciate their support. The highlight of the Campaign update was a surprise announcement from special guest Chief Alan Adam who announced that Acden was donating $250,000 to the Minimally Invasive Surgical Suites project,” said the Health Foundation Board Chair.

Just two years after its launch at the 2016 Spring Fling, the Campaign has secured over $7.75m in business and individual donations and $4.5m invested by AHS for the campaign public health projects. This $16m fundraising campaign is the largest in the Health Foundation’s history and is comprised of critically-needed healthcare projects across Wood Buffalo. Together donors and AHS have brought the fundraising total to $12.25m.

During the event, Cindy Amerongen, Executive Director of the Northern Lights Health Foundation and Dr. Andrei Manolescu, Orthopedic and Spine Surgeon at the Northern Lights Health Centre told the audience about the Minimally Invasive Surgical Suites project (MIS) and what they could expect to see for laparoscopic and endoscopic surgeries when the MIS campaign target of $7.5m is achieved.

Amerongen says, “The advanced MIS suites will be designed to create an optimal operating environment for the surgeon, staff and most importantly, the patient. The renovation and upgrade of four operating rooms will bring them into state-of-the-art operating theatres that attract progressive surgeons and provide improved patient outcomes.” 

After a spirited and competitive ‘horse-race’ featuring celebrity jockeys, Spring Fling guests stepped forward with an additional $57,360 in pledges for the campaign.

Spring Fling 2018 was a huge hit with the attendees - the live auction alone raised $45,500. Guests competed for exciting packages such as the VIP Kentucky Derby Trip for Two, the Wood Buffalo Brewing Co. limited edition Beast Whiskey, the Fort McMurray Golf Club Package and the Backyard BBQ Party for 24 Guests Package!

This year’s Silent Auction had a new twist with curated items from local shops and vendors. Chocolates & Candlelight and Home Hardware sponsored silent auction vignettes, and more than 40 local businesses donated silent auction items to the event.



About the Northern Lights Health Foundation


Established in 1985, the Northern Lights Health Foundation exists to provide funds to support healthcare priorities within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. The Health Foundation is proudly accredited under Imagine Canada’s Standards Program.  For more information, visit



About The Gratitude Campaign

The $16 million Gratitude Campaign is the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the history of the Northern Lights Health Foundation.

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