After 21 years of service at the Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation (LGHF), famous Duck-Fest (previously Duck Race) mascot Lakeshore Louis, is heading for a sunny retirement, far away from winter’s bitter cold. The LGHF decided close this colourful chapter of its history since the lottery associated with the duck — who raised near $1.5 million during his career — was no longer reaching its goals.
By way of farewell on the 12th of March, 2019, Lakeshore Louis toured the Hospital, collecting donations, photos and thank yous, and celebrated his retirement at the LGHF office, surrounded by employees and volunteers.
The celebration gave the LGHF the opportunity to express its deepest gratitude to Bill Wexler, the volunteer behind the mascot, who gave life to the character for many years, as well as to his wife Ardeth. Several volunteers who participated in the event every year were happy to share stories over a delicious cake, in festive yet nostalgic atmosphere.
The LGHF invites anyone interested in adopting one or a few iconic rubber duckies to pass by their office in the main entrance of the Lakeshore General Hospital, before the end of April. After which, all the ducks will be given to another charitable organization and recycled.
A wind of change is now being felt at the LGHF as they are preparing a brand new exciting lottery, which will be launched this spring in collaboration with Air Canada Rouge and TWMG Inc.
Founded in 1964, the Foundation’s mandate is to collect the necessary funds to improve patient care at the Lakeshore General Hospital. In this way, it contributes to the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment, major structural renovations, and assists in supporting programs and specialized training for the professional staff, providing funding to initiatives not supported by the government.
—Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation