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Community thanks Prince Edward District Women’s Institute for generous support

Prince Edward District Women’s Institute members, federal, provincial and municipal dignitaries applaud donations totalling $16,500 to representatives of eight organizations. Posing with a likeness of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth are Mike DeCastris, of the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron 851; Prince Edward County Fire Chief Scott Manlow, Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory’s John Hirsch; (at front with the Queen) Prince Edward County Libraries CEO Barbara Sweet, W.I. District President Evelyn Peck, PEC Museums Curator Jennifer Lyons, Lynda Sommers of the Quinte Educational Museum and Archives and Lynn Ward, of PEC 4-H. – Sue Capon photos

A likeness of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth presided over the County celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario and Canada Tuesday, in Ameliasburgh.

Wilma deWolde, one of the organizers of the anniversary tea, noted the life-sized cardboard stand travels around to various institutes, honouring the Queen’s membership in Sandringham W.I. since 1943 – when she was still a Princess.

“She always brings a smile,” deWolde said, “and people love to have their photograph taken with her so we’re pleased to have her here today.”

Prince Edward County representatives of eight community groups were delighted to pose with the Queen as recipients of $16,500 in donations from the Prince Edward District W.I. – celebrating its 111th year in the County.

Evelyn Peck, W.I. District President, welcomed members, W.I. and community dignitaries and those receiving the donations – raised at the W.I.’s annual Art and Craft Sale held every summer in Picton.

“Since its inception, the Women’s Institute has been an organization for personal growth, and community action,” said Peck.

Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson and council members Bill McMahon, Bill Roberts, John Hirsch and Janice Maynard present a certificate of appreciation to Evelyn Peck, Prince Edward District Women’s Institute President.

Prince Edward County mayor Steve Ferguson thanked the W.I. for its dedication and generous support of local groups and organizations.

“The Women’s Institute plays such an important role in the lives of so many in Prince Edward County,” he said, noting council recently recognized the organization’s most recent $5,000 contribution to enhance transit – tallying donations of more than $115,000 since rallying to bring accessible transportation to the County. “On top of that, the agenda today lists a number of organizations who are the recipients of your generosity. Prince Edward County would not be what Prince Edward County is, without your help. Thank you for your generosity.”

Scott Manlow, Prince Edward County’s Fire Chief, gratefully received a donation toward training for volunteer firefighters.

“We have 150 members in our department so training is the most important aspect. Every dollar we get toward training we invest in our members… so thank you on behalf of Prince Edward County, members of our department, and the citizens in the community.”

County residents will also benefit from support of the Prince Edward County Libraries, said CEO Barbara Sweet.

“It means so much to continue to offer the services and the programs and the community space that we want to keep welcoming for all of our patrons – new, old and ‘to be’.”

John Hirsch thanked the membership for continued support of the work at Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory.

“We are completely donation-run so we rely on funding like this to keep up the work of counting, banding, calculating and maintaining the status of migrating birds.”

Lynda Sommer, on behalf of the Quinte Educational Museum and Archives, said funds would be used to provide activities and educational opportunities for students visiting the museum.

Jennifer Lyons expressed thanks for support of the County’s five museums and heritage preservation and noted the funds would be put toward community programs.

“The Women’s Institute has been a big part of 4-H,” said Lynn Ward noted the donation will go toward assisting more than 90 members aged six to 21.

Youth aged 12 to 18 with the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron 851 also benefit from the W.I.’s continued support, said Mike DeCastris, training officer.

“Every year, less money and funding is available to put towards training and leadership activities… for our cadets to improve themselves, improve their leadership skills and training.”

Melissa Davis brought greetings and congratulations on behalf of MP Neil Ellis. David Joyce represented MPP Todd Smith.

The Prince Edward District Women’s Institute includes branches in Cherry Valley (since 1908); Consecon (1913); Demorestville (1919); Hillier (1914); Rednersville (1909) and Mountain View Wellington (both formed in 1908 and amalgamated in 2017). Click here for more information 

Cutting cakes made by Nancy Wood celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada and Ontario are Evelyn Peck, PEDWI President, and Mary Shortt, FWIO President-elect.

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