ENORMOUS generosity and hundreds of volunteers have helped the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation achieve a record year for fundraising.
The Foundation posted a record operating result of $2.35 million during 2018-18, 56 per cent above the previous year financial year's result of $1.51 million.
In its annual report, tabled in state partliament in December, the Foundation also reported unprecedented and record growth in fundraising $887,230 during the year, which represented a 68 per cent improvement on 2016-17.
"The Foundation's strong performance during the year enabled the organisation to enact the strategic objective of building a strategic reserve and growing the balance sheet to be in a position to fund bigger strategic projects, particularly to support new and improved services and progress towards the goal of Cairns Hospital becoming a full service tertiary university hospital," the Foundation said in its report.
Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman said helping the hospital achieve tertiary status was the charity's mission during 2019.
"I understand it's like a 5-10 year goal, but that is our mission and the community of Cairns wants that," Dr Chapman said.
"The community of Cairns has shown a willingness to support the Foundation, to put thier hands in thier pockets, to volunteer to participate in events, and I think with that spirit and that will, we're going to get there," he said.
During 2017-18, about 100 Foundation volunteers contributed more than 24,763 hours of unpaid labour to the Cairns Hospital.
Hundreds more Foundation volunteers leant their support to fundraising events during the year, devoting a total of about 11,114 hours.
Dr Chapman said there was an extra 750 volunteers within the community who donated their time to help in fundraising endeavours, such as the recent gift wrapping stall at Cairns Central.
He said on top of this, there had been enormous generosity from donors, including local philanthropist Joyce Swinton who gave the Foundation a total of $550,000 towards several projects, including the second cardiac catheter laboratory.
"For the second cath lab campaign, the support from the community was incredible, how people came in and wrote big cheques," he said. "A lot of people had no publicity, but were still writing $50,000 and $100,000 cheques because they wanted to see the cardiac unit get to tertiary standard - and that's going to happen."