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Bakers and bidders raise record funds for hospital equipment

In front of Picton’s Crystal Palace at the fairgrounds, from left, are: Tina Hiddink, secretary/treasurer for the Prince Edward Agricultural Society; Nancy Parks, Back the Build campaign chairperson; Barbara McConnell, PECMH Foundation chairperson; Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation; Susan Harrington, vice- president of the Agricultural Society; Larry Everall, president of the Agricultural Society and Briar Boyce, senior development officer with the PECMH Foundation. John Tofflemire photo

Dozens of bakers and bidders cooked up community spirit, generosity, and record funds toward major medical equipment for Prince Edward County’s new hospital.

Following a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prince Edward Agricultural Society’s Picton Fair came back stronger than ever in September, and with it came the return of the beloved Picton Fair Bake Off Challenge.

The challenge is an opportunity for businesses or individuals to put culinary skills to the test by having their entries judged by local celebrities, then auctioned to raise funds to support the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation (PECMHF).

The years, 17 entries were judged by volunteers Barbara McConnell, PECMHF’s board chairperson, Ken Menlove, PECMHF board member and Jenn McKay with Cool 100.

Craig Carson was the volunteer auctioneer with contagious energy and enthusiasm that helped result in this year’s event raising a record-breaking $7,005. Carson’s witty banter resulted in the best in show coconut cream pie selling for $1,000.

The funds will support major medical equipment purchases needed for the new hospital.

“We could not achieve our goal of building a new, well-equipped hospital for the residents of and visitors to Prince Edward County without support from the community.” said Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation. “We are honoured to have the continued support of the hard-working volunteers with the fair board and those who bake a pie or cake, or come and bid on these delectable desserts. The Agricultural Society has supported healthcare delivery in our community for 14 years.”

The Agricultural Society thanked the generous people who donated a baked good or participated in the auction.

“We were thrilled to move forward with an in-person fair after a two-year hiatus and bring back the Bake Off Challenge,” said Larry Everall, president of the Prince Edward Agricultural Society. “We are grateful to everyone who attends the fair, whether they ride the midway, enter an item as an exhibit or as a vendor, participate in the Bake Off, or volunteer with us. We couldn’t be happier with this year’s record-breaking result from the Bake Off for our County hospital. Thank you to everyone who baked or bid to make that happen.”

This donation brings the Ag Society’s cumulative giving total to PECMHF to $27,695.


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