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Family fund grants a $140,000 boost for local projects

Ten organizations are sharing a $68,124 boost from the new Huff Family Fund – complimented with co-funding matching amounts of $2,000 each from the Wynne Thomas Arts Fund and the Jack and Ruby Lockyer Ward Fund – totalling more than $140,000.

These funds, managed by The County Foundation, were presented Thursday at Huff Estates.

The Huff Family Fund was launched in the fall of 2018, as a commitment to the future of the County investing in its children, families, projects and programs.

Lanny Huff praised The County Foundation and said he was pleased with the way the inaugural awards came together, noting allocations of funds new to the family to support, and others the family has long supported.

He said he was especially interested in the work to be done by the Lovesong project for affordable housing in Bloomfield.

“This County is desperate for affordable housing – for seniors, and also for young people,” he said. “Where I live now in West Lake there’s not anybody between me and the sand dunes. They’re all Air Bnbs… There’s no community left. We really have to do something.”

Born in the parlour of his family’s home in Wellington, Huff noted he was eager to get involved with The County Foundation, and expects it will become a major contributor to the community helping organizations that may not be able to receive funding elsewhere… We’re very happy to play our part and be involved.

“This County Foundation is doing great things. They started off slow – getting people aware, getting people involved… Now they’ve got some great things happening.”

“The Huff Family Fund encourages and supports the incredible work that our many community organizations pursue to make Prince Edward County so special,” said Brian Beiles, the foundation’s president. “It is through this commitment that the Huff Family Fund was launched.”

Over what is anticipated to be the next 15 years, and starting with these inaugural grants, there will be a series of grants offered in a broad range of areas.

The fund seeks to support organizations and institutions with projects and programs directed toward Addiction and Mental Health; Animal Welfare; Arts and Culture; Health Care and Human Services; Housing Issues; Vital Signs Priority Areas as defined by The County Foundation Vital Signs Report, including Food Security, Education and Learning, and Transportation.

With more than 30 grant applications received, Beiles said requests far exceeded availability in this first year.

“The applications were reviewed, analyzed and evaluated by a TCF Grants Committee comprising individuals from across the County, and recommendations were presented to TCF Board of Directors for approval and consultation with the donors,” he said.

Gail Robinson and Angela Finlay accepted their grant on behalf of the Loyalist Humane Society, to increase the spaying and neutering programs by 10 per cent, to help regulate feline population by avoiding unplanned litters.

Ken How and Steve Sensenstein accepted on behalf of Lovesong Seniors’ Affordable Housing at the former Pinecrest school, toward design, drawings, and options for moving the design phase of the $6.3 million project to create 50 new affordable housing units at the Bloomfield site.

Barbara Proctor and Debbie MacDonald Moynes accepted on behalf of PEC Community Care for Seniors, for podiatry equipment and tools, for their expansion with a foot-care clinic in Rossmore. This will service more seniors in the northern areas of the County, especially those with limited transportation options.

Lindsay Ferguson and Darlene Thompson accepted on behalf of the Recreation Outreach Centre (ROC), for a Youth Addiction and Recovery program called SMART Recovery. It provides a variety of methods, worksheets, and exercises to help teens self-manage addiction recovery and their lives, under the training and oversight of skilled facilitators.

Cheryl Chapman and Julie Hymus accepted on behalf of the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, to help transport youth to their location in 2019 and 2020. The observatory introduces children to outdoor education opportunities through their NatureHood program and the grants will supplement transportation expenses.

Tanya Dutton and Tami Downes accepted on behalf of the Community Development Council Quinte, a core partner of Poverty Roundtable HPE, for their program to build awareness of Poverty Reduction needs within the County. Under this project, the delivery of workshops is to be expanded across PEC and involve various key stakeholders and agencies combating poverty.

David Oliver and Maureen Dunn accepted on behalf of the PEC Chamber Music Festival, to provides youth the opportunity to attend free of cost, and to learn to appreciate classical music and acclaimed musicians, within their own locale. Such programs are normally only available in larger communities.

Linda Downey and Kathy Kennedy accepted on behalf of Wellington Storehouse and Prince Edward Learning Institute to boost Youth and Adult Cooking Classes in 2019 and 2020. The grants will support cooking classes for youths 8-12 yrs and adults. The youth classes are six weeks in duration and the adult classes are eight weeks.

Bob Cooke and Evva Massey accepted on behalf of The Regent Theatre Foundation, for concession renovations designed to increase operating revenues for the heritage theatre. This is a shared grant from the Huff Family and Jack and Ruby Lockyer Ward Funds.

Anne Preston and Janna Smith accepted on behalf of County Kids Read, for the purchase of board books for the very young. This program is aimed at improving the early development index for young children presenting as vulnerable, as highlighted in the Vital Signs 2018 report. This is a shared grant from the Huff Family and Wynne Thomas Arts Development Funds.

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