A province-wide fundraiser for children's hospitals in Alberta has been a huge success and hospital officials say the money will help improve services and expand programs.

ATBs ‘Teddy for a Toonie’ raises money to support care programs at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary and the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation in Edmonton.

“We are thrilled with this year’s campaign results. We couldn’t be happier. We’re so proud of our employees, our customers, all of our partners and community members that helped us raise money,” said Sandra Huculak, ATB Financial. “This is our record breaking year. We raised $928,000 in a four-week campaign around the province.”

Organizers had hoped to raise $1 M through donations and fundraisers, which were held during the month of May, and came very close to making it.

Jennifer Jepson’s son, Skylar, has Cerebral Palsy and she has been taking him to the Stollery since he was about six weeks old and says the facility has become almost a second home for them.

“It’s just been a good positive journey for us. I’m happy that the Stollery is in Edmonton. We’re pretty blessed and lucky to have it here,” said Jennifer. “Every Loonie helps and hopefully your children won’t have to use it but if you do have to go to the Stollery, you know if you’ve donated money, that the services are going to be there and the equipment is going to be there and it’s a good place to be.”

“I like the hospital, it’s helped me a lot. What I like about it is that they are really nice, they give you good care and they help you out through it, it’s been really good,” said Skylar, aged 10.

The money will be used to support neuro-critical care at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and operating room development at the Stollery.

“This money will help us improve those services at the Stollery, so we’re expanding the number of operating rooms from five to ten and the money that we raised this year will actually allow us to renovate and improve one of those operating rooms,” said Mike House, President and CEO of Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation.

ATB has raised almost $7 M through the Teddy for a Toonie campaign since launching in 2000.