From the Coffs Coast Advocate, 16th November 2012

Rotary aid mums with $25,000 'baby bonus' for hospital

COFFS Harbour Base Hospital's maternity unit is set to benefit from the purchase of specialist equipment worth more than $25,000.

The purchases have been made possible by the fundraising efforts of members of the Rotary Club of Sawtell.

Acting midwifery unit manager Sonia Parker said the Rotary Club's efforts enabled the hospital to purchase a cardiotocograph monitor (CTG).

"Its function is to monitor the baby's heart rate when a woman comes into hospital for an assessment during her pregnancy or whilst in labour to monitor the baby's heart rate in comparison to the woman's contractions," Ms Parker said.

"The many benefits of the monitor include assisting staff to manage any complications, to monitor twins at the same time and to allow the woman to move about with the monitor on thanks to wireless technology."

While it was a big fundraising task for the small Rotary Club, the members took to the challenge in earnest, organising barbecues, golf days, a cycle challenge and the club's new venture, the Big Dig, on Sawtell Beach.

The club's past president, Terry Smith, said the club was thrilled to be able to present the CTG monitor to the maternity unit.

"When we heard about the need for this equipment we decided to take the project on as a major fundraiser," Mr Smith said.

"We just got straight down to work."

Ms Parker said the maternity unit was grateful for the generous donation.

"The Rotary Club of Sawtell has put in such an amazing effort with its community fundraising activities," she said.

"This equipment will be used regularly in the maternity unit and will be a great asset to the hospital for years to come."