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Picture of Jody Wildman's toes and a big piece of plastic

By Carol Martin
SooToday.com
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Reeve Jody Wildman of the Township of St. Joseph wants to make it perfectly clear.

"We would have given this money for the new hospital either way," Wildman said. "I didn't like the way things were organized by the province but that was outside of your control."

Wildman was speaking today to Sault Area Hospitral fundraisers at the Plummer site, posing behind a big plastic cheque for $175,000.

Also posing with the generous contribution are fundraising committee co-chair Dr. David Walde; Cheryl Pavoni, executive director for Sault Area Hospital Foundation, Wildman and committee co-chair John Hollingsworth.

Wildman has been an outspoken opponent of the province's funding formula for the new Sault Area Hospital since it was announced more than a year ago.

"Even if some of us disagree with the way the province is doing this, we still believe we have a part to play in it," said Wildman.

Dr. Walde sympathized with Wildman but was pragmatic.

"Everybody knows we all had some concerns right from the beginning because this is a new process, a new experience for all of us," Dr. Walde said. "But we kept that aside because we knew that either way it was going to happen we were going to have to raise some money."

Wildman said that the Corporation of the Township of St. Joseph will be donating at least $175,000 over the next 15 years.

"It's based on our [tax] assessment," he said. "I fully expect it will be more when we are done."

Wildman said the township wanted to be conservative in its estimate but hopes to wind up with a happy surprise.

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