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24-hour Curl-A-Thon returns to Back the Build

Local curlers were thrilled to surpass their fundraising goal at the inaugural event – donating $51,103.90 to the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation Back the Build campaign. – Sharon Harrison photo

By Sharon Harrison
County businesses, groups and individuals are once again being encouraged to consider putting together a team for the second Prince Edward Curling Club Curl-A-Thon in January. Best of all, you don’t have to be a curler to participate in the fun event, which is intended as a friendly competition.

“Are you looking for a team-building exercise for your staff, do you want a friendly challenge with a similar business in the County, then the corporate challenge is for you,” said Pam Piercey with the organizing committee. “All you need is four people willing to give curling a try, and then find another local business to challenge.”

When the Prince Edward Curling Club came up with a novel way to help contribute to the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation’s (PECMF) Back the Build campaign, they could never have imagined its magnificent success, nor the outpouring of support from a generous community.

Touched and encouraged by the community outpouring for the first event, and riding the high from the positively uplifting event, the Prince Edward Curling Club plan to do it all again in January.

That joyful accomplishment, and the community’s enthusiastic contribution, came in the form of a whopping $51,103.90 raised for the new hospital in just a 24-hour period, far exceeding anyone’s expectations.

“It’s my understanding their goal was for $15,000, and at the end of the day, we will be looking at over $50,000 which is just incredible,” said Shannon Coull, PECMHF executive director, speaking at the inaugural wrap-up event in March. “It really showcases the strength of our community, and why Prince Edward County is such an amazing place to live.”

She also spoke to the volunteers and the time put in to make it all happen, as well as the participants who showed up at two, three and four o’clock in the morning to play.

“We walked into the room and you could feel the energy, it was so positive, the entire community literally has come together to help us raise money for Back the Build, and we’re so grateful for the incredible support that’s come forward, and how much that’s been raised in just 24 hours.”

To recognize the curling club’s huge efforts from their inaugural event, the PECMHF will be naming a room in the in-patient unit of the new hospital after the curling club.

The continuous 24-hour curling game (players will register for a two-hour time slot -typically eight ends of curling) will begin at noon on Jan. 27, 2024, wrapping-up on Jan. 28 at noon, with all proceeds again going to the PECMHF’s Back the Build campaign for the new hospital in Prince Edward County.

While organizers would be thrilled to raise a similar amount to the sum raised with the first event, they are considerate of the current economic climate and have set a fundraising goal of $35,000.

“But we won’t stop trying to top last year!” added Piercey.

All players must collect a minimum of $100 each in pledges, and must be over the age of 18 to participate.

The event will be open to members of the public once again, as well as curling club members (but you don’t have to be a curling club member to participate in the Curl-A-Thon), where the goal is to have a minimum 96 curlers participate (although more can be accommodated).

Participants are welcome to sign-up as an individual and be placed on a team by organizers.

Alternatively, participants can sign-up as a team of four players (minimum $400 in pledges) or sign-up two teams of four players (minimum $800 in pledges) who want to play together in their two-hour time slot.

“This event is intended to build community spirit and host a friendly competition while helping to build our new hospital in Picton.”

Piercey noted a running score (yellow stones versus red stones) will be kept for the 24 hours,

The idea behind the corporate challenge is for local businesses to challenge another local business, perhaps a rival business, to a game in the corporate challenge.

“Businesses would put together their own team, solicit pledges (minimum team pledge of $400) and have the opportunity to battle it out for two hours for bragging rights on their team’s performance and for soliciting more pledge money than their opponents.”

If a business has more than four employees who want to participate, organizers suggest putting together two teams to challenge each other.

“Since the money goes to the new hospital, why not see which business can raise more in pledges or donations?” she said. “Then you and your rival can schedule a time with the organizers and square-off in a curling game for two hours and see who can rack-up the most points.”

Organizers stress that you don’t have to be a curler to participate, and no experience is required (and perhaps it would only add to the fun and frivolity for first-time curlers).

Equipment is provided along with a quick introduction to the sport for those who need it, ensuring everyone has a great time.

“After your game, you and your team can relax in the lounge, have a drink and something to eat and take in the live entertainment that we are planning, all while raising funds for the new hospital.”

January’s event will follow a similar format to the last event, where along with pledges, the club will have a silent auction (running for the duration of the 24-hour event), and will sell food to help raise additional funds.

“The square game will also return with one lucky person winning up to $1,000 if all squares are sold, and also with $1,000 going to Back the Build,” explained Piercey.

Beverages, snacks and food (soup and chili) will be available for purchase for the full 24 hours.

Folks are encouraged to sign-up early for January’s event as early registration will ensure a preferred time slot is secured, which are allocated on a first come, first serve basis.

Every participant who signs-up before Dec. 20 (including non-club members) will have their name entered into an early bird draw, to be made at the closing ceremonies.

In addition to helping raise funds for the new hospital by way of pledges and donations, organizers remind that prizes are also awarded to the top three fundraising teams.

A huge part of the event’s success is the contribution from local businesses who are being asked to step-up once again in a capacity that suits them.

“We are seeking local business support for donations for the silent auction, or food and refreshments for the kitchen,” she said, “If your business can support this endeavour, it would be greatly appreciated.”

All businesses contributing to the silent auction or to the kitchen will be recognized on the Prince Edward Curling Club website and in its publicity.

The PECMHF can issue income tax receipts for donations and pledges of $20 or more, and will provide a gift-in-kind receipt for new items donated to the silent auction, if accompanied by documentation confirming its value (check the appropriate box on the pledge form if a tax receipt is required).

The public is encouraged to stop by at any time during the 24-hour event to watch the event (at no charge), to cheer on participants, to familiarize themselves with the friendly club, as well as browse the silent auction and enjoy some food, along with live music on the Saturday night.

The event will take place at the Prince Edward Curling Club headquarters located at 375C Picton Main Street (beside the Prince Edward Community Centre at the Fairgrounds).

Online registration for the Curl-A-Thon opened on Nov. 27. For more details on the Jan. 27-28 24-hour Curl-A-Thon, to book a slot or to make a pledge, visit the Prince Edward Curling Club website at pecurling.com, or email info@pecurling.com with questions.

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