Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The 41st annual Queens Hospital Hustle, raising money for the Queens General Hospital Foundation, is going online this year.
Last year's event was cancelled due to COVID-19. Organizers did not want to miss another year, so they went back to the drawing board to see what they could do.
"Where we can't have a big physical to-do, we had to figure something else out, so we decided to go online," said chair Jennifer Conrad, while lamenting not being able to hold their normal event that features white elephant tables, live and silent auctions.
"Our doctors and nurses are always down there that day, and it gives a chance for the community to meet them and see that they are putting just as much of an effort into their hospital as the community does."
Typically held in the fall, the event raises between $20,000 and $25,000 a year, which goes toward purchasing items for the Queens General Hospital.
Over the years the money raised has helped buy beds, side tables, blood pressure machines, thermometers and other items.
"Literally, all the money that gets raised in the community goes back to the community through the hospital," said Conrad.
This year's money will go towards purchasing an electrocardiogram machine "or maybe even two." One machine costs about $25,000.
According to Conrad, because they can't hold a live event, she and her group decided to get an early start. The online auction began April 9 on the "Hospital Hustle 2021 Online Edition" Facebook page.
Each item will have a set of numbers attached to it. If a player sees something appealing, the player can indicate those numbers that are wanted.
Once all the numbers have been claimed the players will be asked to forward their donations within 24 hours via e-transfer. If a player's donation is not sent within the allotted time, the item it pertains to will be re-sold.
Once all the numbers have been taken a draw will be made for each of the items.
Items with little to no numbers claimed may be removed at anytime without notice. Draws for items that are ready to go will be made Thursday evenings at about 7 p.m.
Those wishing to donate a new item for the auction can contact Conrad to arrange a time to meet. Monetary donations can also be made by contacting Margo Hanley or Linda MacKinnon.
The event will continue through to September 18 or until the organizers reach $25,000, according to Conrad.