Great Plains College & Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation partnering to ‘Chase the Ace’

The Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation and Great Plains College are excited to announce a joint fundraiser. Tickets for “Chase the Ace in Support of Health and Education” will be available beginning January 13, 2021.

The two organizations were looking for an opportunity to partner and raise additional funds to benefit health care and post-secondary education in their regions. They decided to combine their efforts to reach a wider audience and allow individuals and communities to support both health care and college entrance scholarships with their participation.

“We ran a successful Chase the Ace raffle a few years ago and it also provided some fun for everyone who participated,” said Jim Dekowny, executive director of the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation. “When the college approached us about doing something together, it was felt that Chase the Ace would be an ideal fundraiser for both of us.”

“The college normally holds a couple of events each year to raise money for our scholarship program but due to the circumstances limiting public gatherings this year, we’ve been looking for some other opportunities,” said Dianne Sletten, donor services coordinator, Great Plains College. “I was excited when Jim suggested the Chase the Ace raffle as it is an exciting concept for a fundraiser, with a guaranteed winner every week and a jackpot that keeps growing until someone picks the ace of spades.”

Dekowny added that the raffle will offer an option to purchase tickets online which will increase the opportunity for people to participate. “We have partnered with Tap 50:50 Event Consultants Ltd. based in Saskatoon to offer online raffle ticket purchases and links will be available on both the foundation and college websites to access the online purchases.”

Individual tickets are available for $10.00 apiece or multiple tickets can be purchased at 10 for $25.00 or 50 for $50.00.  The jackpot will begin at $2,000.

Weekly draws will take place at the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation’s office in Swift Current each Thursday at 4 PM. The first draw will take place on January 21. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, ticket purchasers will not be able to attend the weekly draw in person but are encouraged to follow the updates and watch the weekly live draw on the organizations’ “Chase the Ace for Health & Education” Facebook page.

Chase the Ace is a progressive-style lottery where 20% of the weekly ticket sales goes towards the winner whose name is drawn, 30% of the weekly sales goes to the jackpot, and the foundation and college will share the remaining 50% of weekly ticket sales. Each week’s raffle winner whose name is drawn will also pick an envelope number that will have a playing card in it and they will win the accumulated jackpot if the ace of spades is drawn. If the ace of spades is not drawn, the playing card will be removed and the jackpot rolls over to the following week.

Complete rules of play are available at and

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For more information contact:

Bryce Martin, marketing & communications coordinator                     Jim Dekowny, executive director
Great Plains College                                                                                     Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation
Phone: 306-741-3584                                                                                    Phone:  306-741-8180

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Radiothon another amazing success…

Strong community support from across southwest Saskatchewan helped make the 2020 Pharmasave Radiothon for Healthcare a success and to achieve the Dr Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation’s goal of raising $150,000.

The two-day event took place in the clubhouse of Elmwood Golf Club, Oct. 29-30. The final amount raised at the end of the second day was $150,800.

“It proved today that people care” Foundation Executive Director Jim Dekowny said. “People really want to give and they believe in what we’re doing at the Foundation, and it’s been a great day”

In a fitting conclusion to the event, the final cheque presentation was made by the Cypress Regional Medical Association. The donation of $15,000 helped the Radiothon to move past the fundraising target.

“All the doctors that look after everybody in the southwest decided to pool their money, not knowing that we’re going to be at $135,000” he said. “They give $15,000 and take us right to the end to finish it off. It’s a Hollywood, you know that I mean. It was a pretty cool two days. The resident of the southwest should be so happy and proud of what they’ve done these last two days.”

The final cheque presentation was made by the Cypress Regional Medical Association president, Dr. Clare Kozroski and treasurer, Dr. Kobus Steenkamp.

“We are so happy to help our patients individually, but it’s really a privilege for us as a group to also help the hospital, the surgeons and the whole area in terms of updating to some really needed equipment,” Dr. Kozroski said afterwards.

Dr. Steenkamp noted that donation is made from the financial contributions  of physicians toward their regional medical association.

“As physicians,  we each contribute on a monthly basis to our medical association,” he said. “We use the money for events, and if there’s money in surplus, we like to donate that to a worthy cause, and this is one of them. Radiothon  is one way of doctors giving back to the regional healthcare foundation.”

The funds raised through the Radiothon will be used to purchase a 4K ultra high definition laparoscopic surgical tower at the Cypress Regional Hospital.

“That equipment brings Cypress Regional Hospital and therefore our region up to the standard that our residents deserve,” Dr. Kozroski said. “The high definition really makes a difference. You could imagine what maybe your cell phone photo might have looked like 15 years ago compared to what you can see now. The same on your computer screen or tablet. So if a physician only has 2D resolution, he’s going to be much happier with 4K high resolution.”

The two surgical theaters at the Cypress Regional Hospital perform approximately 2,100 surgeries annually, including 900 cataract and 1,200 other lifesaving procedures. Surgeons currently use laparoscopic surgery towers in a 2D format that were originally purchased in 2009. A new laparoscopic surgery tower using 4K technology will provide surgeons with the latest technology during surgical procedures.

“The surgery is much more accurate,” Dr. Steenkamp explained. “So the outcome for the patient is much better and because it’s done laparoscopically, it reduces recovery time and it also reduces anaesthetic time. So all in all, it’s better for the patient.”

In past years the Radiothon took place in the foyer of the Cypress Regional Hospital, but it was not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dekowny felt the clubhouse at Elmwood golf course provided a good alternative that allowed sufficient space for following COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

“We had a great facility here.” he mentioned. “Elmwood golf course really stepped up and allowed us to social distance and keep things clean and keep people safe.”

Dekowny experienced some uncertainty before the event about achieving the fundraising target, because the Radiothon took place in the midst of a global pandemic.

“I thought it was going it be a big challenge,” he acknowledged. “You’ve goy the two ways to look at it. Everybody that usually spends tens of thousands of dollars going on holidays might have a bit of extra savings, because they can’t go anywhere. But there’s also the people that are hurting right now and have lost their jobs and are hired back on a smaller scale. So you didn’t know. To me, it was the unknown, for sure, but the people of the southwest should be so proud of what they did and how they’ve stepped up.”

The Radiothon was well supported  by the business community. They made corporate donations, and various businesses provided prize packages that were available to win if people called in to make donations.

The Radiothon was kicked off with a dollar for dollar match up to $20,000 from the Hanlon family. The Innovation Credit Union also provided a dollar for dollar match up to $30,000.

“It was a great corporate and citizen’s effort to raise this money,” he said.

This year’s event took place over two full days, from 9am to 5pm on Oct. 29, and from 6am to 5pm on Oct. 30. This is a change from last year, when it was only a 15-hour broadcast. According to Dekowny there were more donations this year, which was already noticeable on the first day of the broadcast. Healthcare foundation staff had to go back to their office to photocopy more receipt forms because there were not enough available at the Radiothon.

“We never thought in a million years that we’ll have this many donations,” he said. “It’s the southwest people. And not just Swift Current, but the whole southwest, right from Climax to Leader to Herbert to Maple Creek. They’ve all stepped up.”

Source: Prairie Post

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“Hollywood Finish” for the 2020 Pharmasave Radiothon for Healthcare




It’s what Jim Dekowny, the Regional Director of the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation called a “Hollywood Finish”.

With minutes left in the 2020 Pharmasave Radiothon for Healthcare and just shy of hitting their $150,000 goal, in walked Doctors Kobus Steenkamp and Claire Kozroski from the Cypress Regional Medical Association with a last-minute $15,000 donation gathered from doctors who work in and around the southwest Saskatchewan healthcare system.

The donation in the last moments of the radiothon put the total up to 150,800 dollars, leaving Dekowny and others in attendance nearly speechless.

“You know, to go from 135,000 to 150,000 and the doctors association…you know the guys that look after us and that we deal with every day. it’s pretty cool that they’ve been able to take us over with their 15,000.

Doctor Kosroski however, put much of the credit on the people of the sou


“To see these people; these residents from all the towns, villages, the city here in southwest Saskatchewan, it’s just marvellous. I know, people don’t have a lot of spare cash. But they’re obviously stepping up and we all have those same goals. We all want to be as healthy as we can as close to home as we can.”

The two-day event, held at the Elmwood Golf Course’s clubhouse, saw a number of special guests drop by; from Mayor Denis Perrault to members of the Hunter Brothers, and Brittany Brodziak; wife of Chicago Blackhawks forward and Maple Creek native Zack Smith.

Dekowny admitted that due to COVID-19, he was unsure if they’d be able to make this year’s goal of $150,000 but was pleasantly mistaken to learn that in many ways, the number of donations exceeded previous years in a few different ways.

“You’ve got two ways to look at it. Everybody that usually spends tens of thousands of dollars going on holidays might have little extra savings because they can’t go anywhere. But there are also the people that are hurting right now, and have lost their jobs or are hired back on a smaller scale. So for me, it was the unknown. But the people of the southwest should be so so proud of what they did and how they’ve stepped up.”

Source: Swift Current Online

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1977 Grad Reunion Committee Supports Healthcare

The Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation is the Charity of Choice for many individuals and we’re pleased to announce the latest donation to our philanthropic work in Southwest Saskatchewan. Members of the 1977 Grad Reunion Committee presented the Foundation with a donation of $898.62. Pam Leifson and Heather Wiebe presented the cheque to Jim Dekowny, Executive Director- Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation.

“We’re pleased to support the Foundation as healthcare is important to us all,” says Heather Wiebe-Grad 1977 Reunion Committee. “We had money reserved in our committee fund and we couldn’t think of a more deserving cause than healthcare to make this donation to as it will help many people in our region,” added Wiebe.

“All donations are appreciated and it’s great to see community support through various groups such as the Grad 1977 Reunion Committee,” said Jim Dekowny-Executive Director of the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation. “Each donation large or small helps the Foundation in the purchase of various life-saving equipment for our healthcare facilities in the Southwest”, states Dekowny.

Donations to the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation are graciously accepted on-line, by mail or Call the office at (306)778-3314.

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Thank You to Our Virtual Black Tie Hockey Draft Sponsors


As our fundraising continues for the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation we’re thankful to all of our donors and sponsors of our numerous campaigns. On August 10 we’re hosting the “Virtual Black Tie Hockey Draft” evening in support of the Renal Dialysis Unit of the Cypress Regional Hospital. A special Thank-You to our Major Sponsor Urban Cellars Swift Current and other partnering Sponsors; SaskTel, SWT, MNP, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Connect Hearing, Living Sky Casino and Molson Coors. Proceeds from this event will be shared with the Field of Dreams Sports Dinner & Swift Current Minor Baseball. Thank-You to all of the event participants and Sponsors for supporting healthcare in Southwest Saskatchewan.



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Memorial Tribute to Rotary House

Rotary House-The Hon. Jack Wiebe Habitat for Healthcare provides a valuable service for patients travelling in for day surgery in Swift Current or family members visiting a loved one at the Cypress Regional Hospital or neighboring Meadows long term care facility. Since the doors opened to this six bed hospice in 2007 hundreds of guests have stayed at this “home away from home.” One of those families showing their appreciation for Rotary House are the children of the late Harold and Armande Crisp, whose parents both passed away from cancer.

“The last few months of 2019 were slowly getting more painful and Harold entered the new health system. Our friends at the Abbey and Shackleton Hutterite Colonies had been involved in the construction of Rotary House a few years back, so it was with great comfort Don and Denise were able to stay for many nights-We found this to be a HOME. Family and a home were always first priority for Mum and Dad. The staff went beyond their job scope to help us feel relaxed and at peace at a time when Dad was needing us nearby. On December 26, 2019 Dad left us to be greeted by Mum forever in her arms,” stated Don Crisp.

“Now we would like to make a donation to the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation in the amount of $1000.00 in Memory of Harold and Armande Crisp. Knowing that this Foundation will carry on for many years we ask that the residents of the South West and beyond continue to support its’ mandate in any way possible. Our intent is to continue with a yearly donation to this wonderful cause, and help with any FUTURE needs within the foundations goals,” said Don Crisp, Denise & Kelly Bradford and Family.

“Heartfelt donations such as this make our philanthropic work such a pleasure knowing that a small gesture of welcoming out of town guests to Rotary House has made an impact on families,” says Jim Dekowny- Executive Director of the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation. “Guests have the opportunity to relax in a homelike setting at an affordable price while being within walking distance of the Cypress Regional Hospital and the Meadows. And we as hosts are happy to make their stay as comfortable as possible,” added Dekowny.

Rotary House- The Hon. Jack Wiebe Habitat for Healthcare is one of many fundraising initiatives of the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation. For more information or to make a donation in support of Southwest Saskatchewan healthcare, visit our website:

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Go Fund Me Campaign Supports Mental Health Unit

The fundraising continues for Healthcare in Southwest Saskatchewan as the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation has launched a “Go Fund Me Campaign” with proceeds assisting the Mental Health Unit of the Cypress Regional Hospital in Swift Current. The goal of this campaign is set at $ 9,500 and the Foundation is excited to announce The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company is assisting with the launch of this fundraiser.

“We are happy to give a $5,000 donation to the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation to help fund urgent and growing needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to help kick off the funding for the Mental Health Unit,” says Carla Traill-Community, Sponsorship & Events Coordinator, The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company. “This donation is part of a larger giving campaign at Wawanesa Insurance called Caring Together – an initiative that includes donations to hospital foundations, United Way centres, Canadian Red Cross, and True North Aid, in the places where we work and live,” said Traill.

“We’re pleased to have Wawanesa help us launch this campaign with only $4,500 remaining to reach our goal,” says Jim Dekowny, Executive Director of the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation. “Mental Health is a priority for everyone and an important area of the healthcare services offered at the Cypress Regional Hospital. This is a crucial fundraiser for the health and well being of all residents of our Region, as Mental Health is a fact of life which should be openly discussed and treated with the utmost care and respect for all individuals,” added Dekowny.

Each year, 1 in 5 Canadians will directly experience a mental health problem or illness and this is a reality in Southwest Saskatchewan with the Mental Health Unit at the Cypress Regional Hospital helping clients who are requiring acute/crisis mental health care on a daily basis. Now with increased stressful events such as COVID-19, many individuals can find these situations even more challenging and can result in a higher number of patients admitted to the local hospital. Therefore, as we continue to work together as a community and partners in healthcare across the Southwest, we’re asking for your support in assisting the Mental Health Unit in Swift Current. Donations to the “Go Fund Me Campaign for the Mental Health Unit” are graciously accepted at:

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Thank You Southwest Saskatchewan

Following 12 months of fundraising, the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation is pleased to announce the target of $350,000 has been reached in the “Close to the Heart Digital Mammography” campaign. This fundraising goal has been achieved with the anticipation of a successful “Taste of the Arts” event in Shaunavon when health officials indicate it is safe to do so, with all proceeds from this fundraiser secured for the final touch of concluding the Digital Mammography campaign.

“Donors of all levels have stepped forward to assist with the fundraising for this life saving equipment for the Cypress Regional Hospital in Swift Current. From the initial Kick off Breakfast, Radiothon, Donut Days, to major investments by the Hutterian Colonies and other fundraising partners from across the region, we Thank-You for your support,” says Jim Dekowny Executive Director, Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation.

Additional sources of funding for the new Digital Mammography machine to be recognized include a $20,000 donation from Len and Evelyn Stein, the “G. Murray & Edna Forbes Foundation Fund” which awarded a $10,000 grant through the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation and $5,000 from the Shaunavon Legion Poppy Fund.

Once installed the new digital mammography machine at the Cypress Regional Hospital will benefit all residents of Southwest Saskatchewan, while enabling the early detection of cancerous tumours at a more in depth level and starting treatment of patients in a timely manner.

“The Saskatchewan Health Authority is thrilled to receive the funding for a new digital mammography machine. This machine will ensure that women in the southwest have access to the most up-to-date technology to accurately diagnose breast cancer,” said Patti Shirkey, Director Rural Diagnostic Imaging, Saskatchewan Health Authority.


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Let’s Work Together for Healthcare in Southwest Saskatchewan

These are uncertain times for everyone as new cases of COVID-19 are reported daily across the nation and globally. Now as many of us have regrouped working in isolation from our home offices, we’re all doing our part to help “flatten the curve.”

As other businesses are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic so too are numerous non- profit organizations including the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Regional Healthcare Foundation. “Several fundraisers targeting our “Close to the Heart Digital Mammography Campaign” have been postponed until further notice, leaving us several steps behind in reaching our goal of $350,000 to purchase and install this vital piece of medical equipment for the Cypress Regional Hospital,” says Carol Andrews- Development Officer & Communications Coordinator for the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation. “We value our donors across Southwest Saskatchewan who have supported us through our over 20 year history in the region, and we hope they will continue to walk side by side with us in our philanthropic work. The need for medical equipment and the best technology for our medical personnel is even more crucial in rural Saskatchewan and we humbly ask our partners across the region to kindly consider making a donation to the Foundation to assist us with our work. In addition we as a Foundation are here to assist our local medical personnel with any urgent COVID-19 equipment or other medical supplies they may need in the coming days. We are committed to working together to keep healthcare strong now and into the future for the residents of Southwest Saskatchewan,” said Andrews.

Donations to the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation are accepted on line through E-Transfer/ Credit Card or Call (306) 778-3314.

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EDO Japan Serves Up Financial Support for Digital Mammography

Community support continues to shine through as EDO Japan Swift Current made a generous donation of $500 to the “Close to the Heart Digital Mammography” campaign on May 14. This cheque presentation has been postponed for numerous weeks as COVID-19 has changed everyone’s regular routines and method of doing business. EDO Japan began selling paper hearts as a promotion in their Swift Current location on the Family Day long weekend and the fundraising was halted due to the onset of the pandemic. Dollars donated by patrons were matched equally by EDO Japan with the final tally ringing in at $500.

“We wanted to be a part of this life saving campaign the moment we heard there was a need to upgrade the Digital Mammography Machine at the Cypress Regional Hospital in Swift Current,” says Jules Francisco Owner/Operator EDO Japan Swift Current. “As community stakeholders it’s our duty to support our customers and local residents and healthcare is a priority for everyone,” Francisco added.

“EDO Japan is a valued community partner and we appreciate their efforts in supporting the Digital Mammography campaign,” stated Jim Dekowny, Executive Director of the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation. “The updated digital technology of the new mammography machine will help physicians with earlier detection of cancer and save lives of Southwest Saskatchewan patients. All donations such as the latest from EDO Japan will ensure this new technology is purchased and installed in the coming months at the Cypress Regional Hospital. Thank You Southwest Saskatchewan for your support,” said Dekowny.


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