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Thanks to 2,339 residents who Joined the J today in Spencer Smith Park; an amazing accomplishment!

join-the-j-smallThanks to the 2,339 residents who turned out Oct. 1 in the pouring rain at Spencer Smith Park to Join the J and attempt to  break a Guinness World Record for the number of people forming a human letter.
We may not have broken the record, just set by Queen’s University in September at 3,373 people; when we began planning our event in August the record was 2,173 set by Dell. But we achieved a number of other incredible things:
  • 2,339 people came out in the pouring rain in support of Joseph Brant Hospital!
  • #JointheJ was trending nationally on social media
  • this was a great community building effort and promotion of civic pride
  • we accomplished something never attempted or done before in our community, and achieved increased awareness for our hospital in our community.

A number of people leaving asked if we could do it again!

(L-r) With our MP Karina Gould, JBH Foundation Board Chair Susan Busby, the city’s town crier, and MPP Eleanor McMahon at Join the J.

My Take: I am so proud of all the people who came together to make this happen, volunteers, hospital staff, the planning committee (of which I was a member), and all of you who came to the park.

The event is a great launch to the final push of the community fundraising campaign for the new hospital. $50 million had already been raised of the $60 million community contribution. It was just announced that the Paletta family will match up to $5 million any donations raised in the community to get us the last $10 million. It’s up to all of us to step up and give generously!

For more information about the hospital redevelopment, and to make a donation, visit:

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made.

As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington.

The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful.

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  1. I live right opposite Spencer Smith, and while I congratulate all for turning out for this fundraiser in the pouring rain, I felt quite sad that a fundamental institution such as a community hospital cannot be funded through existing taxation and has to go cap in hand to a wealthy portion of this city for handouts, meanwhile they waste money on, (Huggy warm and fuzzy things)—and you might think I’m a grumpy old git, but I am tired of paying the freight for things younger people use, and my simple want’s are ignored.

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