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This article was published 14/5/2019 (283 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Dr. Goodbear, the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba's beloved mascot, is getting a new look after 23 years as the furry face of the foundation.
The mascot makeover (coming soon to the organization's logo) was one of four initiatives announced Tuesday by the foundation at its annual general meeting in a sprawling reception room with floor-to-ceiling windows on the eighth floor of downtown True North Square.
Others include new areas donors can target to help the hospital; a new system of QR codes on donor walls, with naming rights to acknowledge and tell the stories of those donors; and a five-year strategic plan to improve children's health by increasing funding in research, medical equipment, programs and quality spaces.
"What we're hearing from our donors and families is we need to do more," chief executive officer Stefano Grande said. "We're really excited to see what other capital campaigns we can take on in the next five years."
A surprise donation of $1.5 million was also announced Tuesday by Lilibeth and Michael Schlater. Schlater, the CEO of Domino's Pizza Canada, has previously donated $5 million to the CHFM.
The Dr. Goodbear logo will now feature the animated bear, wearing a lighter-green T-shirt and looking to the left (instead of the right). He has a red heart on his right paw and a more groomed look. The microscope is no longer in the background. A spokeswoman said the mascot costume used for public events will receive its makeover this fall.
Gianna Eusebio, the 2019 Champion Child for the foundation, was introduced Tuesday, and will represent Manitoba as an ambassador for the 120,000 children who visit the Winnipeg hospital every year. The CHFM said Gianna is the first Filipino Champion Child in its history.
Next week, Gianna will travel to Florida to meet other Champion Children from across North America.
Gianna told the crowd her story of how her mom developed pre-eclampsia, a dangerous pregnancy complication involving high blood pressure and possible liver and kidney damage. The condition caused doctors to deliver Gianna over two months early.
"I was born at 27 weeks, and I weighed just over a pound, something like a cellphone in the palm of your hand," said Gianna, who was born blind and with heart trouble, but overcame both with surgery at Children's Hospital. She is now an active 10-year-old who lists sports such as basketball and handball as her interests.
"Today, I can see with glasses, I use an inhaler to open my lungs to breathe and my mom says I have fire running through my veins. I owe my life to the Children’s Hospital and the people who support it. I know I am a miracle."
Updated on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 5:40 PM CDT: Adds photo