A $1 million donation to honour the memory of Carol Bajkov, a longtime volunteer for the Festival of Trees, was announced during the Spirit of the North fundraising gala on Dec. 1.
Bajkov was dedicated to the festival since its inception, played a pivotal role around the children's workshop, fostering an environment of creativity and joy for young minds. With an unwavering commitment, she mobilized an army of volunteers each year.
The $1 million dollar donation was made by Bajkov's family as a legacy that will help future generations.
Bajkov passed away on March 10, 2023.
“My mom would be so humbly proud to know her legacy will forever help children that she cared so deeply for,” Lara Pederson, Bajkov's daughter, said.
The funds will be directed towards the expansion of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a cause close to Bajkov's heart.
The expansion project includes adding additional beds, creating family spaces to provide comfort during challenging times, and establishing a dedicated patio for families to access fresh air. Particularly noteworthy is the creation of dedicated twin spaces, addressing a crucial need in Northern BC that will significantly enhance the care provided to newborns.
The NICU expansion will forever carry Carol Bajkov’s name prominently highlighted on its walls.
The donation will not only facilitate the growth of vital healthcare services but also serve as a lasting testament to Carol's profound impact on the Festival of Trees and her commitment to the well-being of the littlest patients in the north.
"Carol Bajkov was more than a mentor; she was a guiding light and a dear member of our festival family,” Aimee Cassie, CEO at Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation, said.
“Her unwavering dedication to the Festival of Trees, her passion for nurturing young minds, and her love for our community left an indelible mark on all who knew her. This million-dollar gift, in her honour, ensures that Carol's legacy of compassion and generosity will continue to touch and transform generations to come.”