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I Love Sunnybrook volunteers Heather Gauthier and Yvonne Wong put the finishing touches on treats for a staff rally.

The life-saving innovations discovered at Sunnybrook rely on donations from the community. Donors pay for building expansions, equipment and research. They pay for clinical trials of new treatments and new procedures that aren't funded by the government.

The people of Sunnybrook know that to ask others to invest in their work, they need to do the same. When staff donate their own money to fund their own work and that of their peers, it speaks volumes about how dedicated they are to the care Sunnybrook provides.

Sunnybrook staff, with help from friends and family, blew past a $100,000 fundraising target to collect more than $150,000 during the I Love Sunnybrook Campaign, a two-week initiative that took place in February and March.

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Participants defied the late-winter blahs by heating things up with a little friendly competition as part of the hospital's larger Campaign for Sunnybrook fundraising effort. Members of team "Cutting to the Chase" (the Division of General Surgery) squared off against "Kick A** Cancer A** Kickers" and other departmental teams within Sunnybrook.

"Cutting to the Chase" raised over $8,400, making it one of the top fundraising teams. More than 60 enthusiastic team captains from various departments helped to rally employees, who could choose to designate funds to their own department or area of need.

Vasu Patel, an administrative assistant at the Odette Cancer Centre, raised money but also made a personal gift by donating 14 inches of her own hair to the centre. New to the hospital when the campaign began, Vasu says it offered her the chance to bond with her new colleagues. "This was definitely a great way for me to meet new people within my department and also within the Sunnybrook campus," she says.

Ru Taggar, chair of the I Love Sunnybrook Campaign and the hospital's director of quality and patient safety, says the strong results demonstrate "that our staff, volunteers and doctors are really invested in the quality of our care and everything that we do for our patients."

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