Big cheque

From left, Alan Forbes and Gary Mack, owners of Bay Village Coffee, present a cheque for $18,000 to Scott Hobbs and his daughters Shannon and Emma for the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation’s Our Hearts at Home campaign. The funds were raised through the sale of cookies baked by Forbes, Mack and their staff.

After several all-nighters baking in February, the team at Bay Village Coffee was able to sell more than 6,800 heart-shaped cookies and raise $18,000 to help bring heart surgery to Thunder Bay.

Coffeeshop owners Gary Mack and Alan Forbes were inspired to raise money for the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation’s Our Hearts at Home campaign in memory of their friend Patti Hobbs, who died late last year after a heart attack.

“This fundraiser was memorable for so many reasons,” said Heather Vita, director of marketing and communications for the hospital foundation. “The outpouring of support shown to Bay Village Coffee during February was heartwarming. When I spoke with the team at Bay Village, they conveyed how much their customers mean to them, and how amazing they were in purchasing cookies and then sharing the love with friends and family.”

“The amount they were able to raise in Patti’s memory is incredible and will be used to honour her by bringing a full cardiovascular surgery program to residents of Northwestern Ontario,” she added. “It’s been a tough year, on so many levels, and seeing how the Bay Village Coffee team was able to lift spirits, along with raise funds, was really special.”

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has three vascular surgeons providing around the clock access to life-saving vascular surgery. Vita said it’s important, as many patients no longer have to travel outside of Northwestern Ontario for care.

“The next step is the development of the cardiac surgery program and this is well underway,” she said. “The team at the hospital is working collaboratively with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to bring this new service to Thunder Bay, in partnership with the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at the University Health Network.”

When cardiac surgery is available in the city, the hospital will be able to offer surgeries like cardiac bypass and valve repairs.

“Cardiac care continues to evolve in our region and we are so grateful for the team at Bay Village Coffee who chose to honour Patti and remember her caring and selfless personality with this incredible gift to our community,” said Vita.