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Festival of Trees raises $50,000 for County’s hospital

Members of the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary presented $50,000 in proceeds from the annual Festival of Trees to the hospital’s Foundation.

Organizers of the County’s unofficial kick-off to the Christmas season delivered a $50,000 gift for equipment needs at the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital.

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary members were in the festive spirit Friday morning as they presented proceeds from the 25th annual Festival of Trees event (11th for the auxiliary), held Nov. 23-25 at Isaiah Tubbs Resort at West Lake.

The auxiliary’s signature event featured a silent auction of nearly 200 trees and contributions from individuals, businesses and organizations, along with the auxiliary’s Christmas boutique, bake sale and bucket draws.

“We really feel like the community is engaged in this event and therefore, supporting the important work of the hospital,” said Pat Evans, the PECMH Auxiliary President. “I’m proud of not only how the auxiliary manages to raise this amount of money and buy important equipment, but how they manage to engage the whole community in that process and make it such a kick-off to the whole holiday season in the County.”

Earlier this year, the auxiliary also stepped forward to purchase $34,981 worth of supportive, non-medical, equipment needed such as ceiling lifts and stretchers. The auxiliary’s cumulative giving total to the Foundation now sits at 1,514,912.87 raised since 1998.

Evans notes the success of Festival of Trees goes to Jack Starkey, the auxiliary’s director of fundraising events, with his wife Cathy, who every year, with a large group of volunteers, improves, innovates, and makes it just a little bit better than the year before.

“To raise $50,000 from this one event is outstanding but I think one of the things that the auxiliary is proudest of is the committee doesn’t do the event themselves. They rally the whole community. We have so many volunteers – some only come out once a year – and just bake, or just sell tickets at the bucket draw, or they come out and do a little bit of security detail. And they rally people to donate trees, and purchase them.”

The youngest to donate a tree, she noted, was 10-year-old Lucias who decorated with a Charlie Brown Peanuts gang themed tree this year, following the success of last year’s Pokemon tree that raised more than $200.

Looking after the County’s children, and those who visit here, was top priority in using $22,668 of the donation to purchase a monitor that will serve the needs of infants and young children brought into the emergency department. In 2017/18, 3,790 visits to emergency at PECMH were patients under the age of 18.

The remainder of the donation will be used to fund the purchase of priority medical equipment at the County’s hospital such as colonoscopes and gastroscopes. PECM hospital is the low-risk endoscopy centre for Quinte Health Care and provides endoscopic screening services to more than 3,000 patients each year.

The new monitor features an infant/child-sized cuff to monitor vitals.

Emergency department RN Jane Davis demonstrated the pediatric monitor to the crowd in attendance at the cheque presentation, noting its benefits and the portable unit that can easily move with a child going for x-ray or tests.

“The Festival of Trees committee along with the PECM Hospital Auxiliary board and volunteers extend a heartfelt thank you to the people who donated and bid on the beautifully decorated trees, purchased baked goods, draw tickets and items from the Second Time Around Shop Boutique,” said Jack Starkey. “We are also thrilled to have the support of so many local musicians who helped fill the dining room at Isaiah Tubbs with merry songs and entertainment. The festive food sale held in Lower MacDonald Hall was a tremendous success.”

“The incredible fundraising event in support of medical equipment for hospital is wonderful,” said Shannon Coull, Executive Director of the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Coull reports fundraising for this year’s equipment campaign is rolling right along as the organization works to reach its $255,000 equipment goal.

The Foundation plays a critical role in providing funding for essential, specialized equipment. Last year there were more than 40,000 patient visits to the County’s hospital.

“Our emergency department alone cared for over 50 people, on average, each day,” she said “Support from donors, like the Auxiliary, is so important because medical equipment is not paid for by the government. Hospitals need their communities to help equip them, through donations to the Foundation.”

“This year’s equipment list focuses on securing medical equipment for most of the departments at PECMH,” said Coull. “Some of our efforts centre on replacing scopes used for colon and gastro tests as well as fundraising for two new ventilators and a transport monitor used in the Emergency Department. A new ultrasound stretcher is required and nine infusion pumps are needed at our hospital right now.

“The organizers of the Festival of Trees, under the leadership of Jack Starkey have worked so hard to make this annual event an important County tradition that ushers in the Christmas season.”

Donations of any amount are welcome in one-time, monthly gifts, bequests in wills, or on behalf of another as a Christmas gift.

For details, or more information, visit www.pecmhf.ca; email or call Shannon Coull, Executive Director at scoull@qhc.on.ca (613-476-1008 ext. 4503); Marthe Robertson, Campaign Manager at mrobertson@ghc.on.ca(ext. 4502) or Briar Boyce, Communications and Donations Co-ordinator at briar@pecmhf.ca (ext 4425).

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  1. D Alder says:

    Good job …volunteers are blessing to any community and the PEC have some of the best 😊

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