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This fundraiser will help buy much-needed equipment for Royal Columbian Hospital

Group of Five returns with its first fundraiser in support of RCH in more than two years – and you’re invited
Longtime New West resident Gerda Suess helped found the Group of Five , which raises money for equipment at Royal Columbian Hospital.

The Group of Five is keen to be back at work raising money to buy much-needed equipment for Royal Columbian Hospital.

The New West-based non-profit is holding its Tis the Season for Giving fundraiser on Friday, Nov. 18 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Centennial Lodge in Queen’s Park. The event includes hors d’oeuvres from Mr. Mom’s World, a cash bar, a silent auction (featuring items like bottles of wine) and a chance to reconnect with community members.

“Everyone is welcome. I want to do something that is lighthearted and fun,” said Gerda Suess, one of the founders of the Group of Five. “All acquaintances can see each other again. It is always so nice to see each other again.”

Since 2005, the Group of Five has purchased a wide variety of items for Royal Columbian Hospital including power drills, a table for finger and hand operations, skeletons for the education department, a vital sign monitor for the emergency room, a pediatric cast saw, a mural in the children’s play area, vascular dopplers and a tilting wheelchair.

Suess, who was New Westminster’s Citizen of the Year in 2003, helped spearhead the Group of Five after hearing about the need for equipment at Royal Columbian Hospital that wasn’t being funded by the health-care system.

“The list is endless.  Absolutely endless,” Suess told the Record. “It always has been.”

Suess said the group’s goal is to raise $5,000 to $6,000 at the upcoming fundraiser. Representatives from the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation will be attending the event to announce what equipment will be purchased with money raised at the event.

Suess invites community members to support RCH, enjoy some tasty hors d’oeuvres and mingle with friends they may not have seen in a while. The upcoming event is the Group of Five’s first gathering since the start of the pandemic; plans were well underway for a fundraiser last year, when it was cancelled because of COVID-19.

“People want to see each other again,” Suess said. “I think that’s what it is all about. Especially after this trying time.”

During the early months of the pandemic when gatherings were restricted, friends arranged for community members to drive by Suess’s Brow of the Hill apartment building in celebration of her 90th birthday. It also served as a Group of Five fundraiser, with folks donating about $2,000 at that outdoor birthday gathering on Sept. 4, 2020.

“All the money that was given for my birthday went right into the account of the Group of Five,” Suess said.

Tickets for the Tis the Season for Giving fundraiser are $40, and will be available at the door or by calling 604-522-7196.

For more information, go to or check out the Group of Five page on Facebook.