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A Sense of Home hits fundraising goal

A Sense of Home campaign team (left to right) Karen Chrest, Gerry Walker, Kerry Auriat and Laurie Murray pose for a photo, marking the end of the capital campaign for Murray House.

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A Sense of Home campaign team (left to right) Karen Chrest, Gerry Walker, Kerry Auriat and Laurie Murray pose for a photo, marking the end of the capital campaign for Murray House. (SUBMITTED)

After 14 months of fundraising, the A Sense of Home capital campaign has officially come to an end.

The $2.85-million fundraising goal has been met, which will cover the cost of building the Murray House cancer treatment residence.

A Sense of Home co-chair Laurie Murray said being involved in the campaign has been "one of the most rewarding experiences" of her life.

"It was really wonderful and it just demonstrated to me so much the heart of the people in the different communities in the Westman area," Murray said.

"It was never a tough-sell campaign."

The campaign launched on Sept. 29, 2011 and has been driven completely by public donations.

In December 2011, the residence was officially named Murray House after a major donation was received from Doug and Laurie Murray of Murray Auto Group.

The project hit close to home for the Murrays, as it did for many of the community donors across Westman.

"Like everybody else, our family has been touched by cancer," Murray said.

"My dad died of pancreatic cancer, and when he died I just felt like, what can I do that would really make a difference?"

Murray said she wanted to make a difference in a tangible and visible way, versus just donating money and hoping it went to the right place.

"I wanted to see where it went," she said.

The initial goal of $2.5 million was increased to approximately $2.8 million in early November, due to increased construction costs.

Construction of Murray House began last month at 521 Frederick St. and is slated for completion by summer 2013.

A Sense of Home campaign co-ordinator Karen Chrest has been there every step of the way as donations poured on.

She said she was "astounded" by the community response.

"Our team believed passionately in the project and fortunately that translated to our donors," Chrest said.

"To get this done in just over a year is a testament to the sense of caring that you could see and feel throughout Westman. For me, this campaign has been an incredibly moving and joyful experience."

The home will include two-storey windows, a sloped ceiling and eight hotel-type suites. Each of the eight bedrooms will have two beds — one main bed and one day-bed for visitors. It will serve cancer patients in rural Manitoba as they travel to Brandon for care. Murray House is in close proximity to both the Western Manitoba Cancer Centre and the hospital.

With the closure of the capital campaign, a separate donor fund has been established through the Brandon Regional Health Centre Foundation to ensure ongoing opportunities for the public to donate to Murray House.

Murray House will now be constructed, owned and operated by Prairie Mountain Health.

» jaustin@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 11, 2012

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After 14 months of fundraising, the A Sense of Home capital campaign has officially come to an end.

The $2.85-million fundraising goal has been met, which will cover the cost of building the Murray House cancer treatment residence.

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After 14 months of fundraising, the A Sense of Home capital campaign has officially come to an end.

The $2.85-million fundraising goal has been met, which will cover the cost of building the Murray House cancer treatment residence.

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