In what Fire Chief Danny Stack said is most likely the single largest donation to a non-profit organization in his 35 years with Greater Sudbury Fire Services, firefighters handed over $30,000 to the Sam Bruno PET Scan Fund on Oct. 16.'
The money was raised through the sale of the 2013 Sudbury Firefighters Calendar. Some 3,000 calendars were sold.
The Sam Bruno PET Scan Fund committee called the donation "breathtaking. They said never in their wildest dreams would they have thought the donation would be that high, and vowed the money will be "put to good use.”
A PET is a medical detection tool used in clinical oncology (tumours and metastases), brain diseases (various types of dementia) and heart disease. It is also an important research tool to map normal brain and heart functions. Of the nine machines in Ontario, one is located in Thunder Bay; the rest are in southern Ontario. The pricetag on the PET Scanner is near the $3.5-million mark.
Sam Bruno spent years lobbying the government to make PET scans free. After he made that happen, he shifted his focus to acquiring a machine for northeastern Ontario, located in Sudbury.
Unfortunately, before he could realize that goal, he lost his long battle with cancer. He died on July 15, 2010 at Maison Vale Hospice.
However, his wife, Cheryl, and family have taken up the torch in making Bruno's vision a reality. Many Sudburians have demonstrated their support to the cause, raising about $400,000 to date, including the funds from the Sudbury Firefighters Calendar.
Now, Bruno's family is preparing for fourth annual gala and fundraising dinner. It's being held Oct. 24 at the Caruso Club. Tickets are $80 per person. For more information, visit sambrunopetscanner4sudbury.ca.
With files from Heidi Ulrichsen.