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Donation is last stop for Picton Model Railroaders Club

Pictured on the future site of the new hospital in Picton from left, are: Cathy Starkey, past president of the PECMH Auxiliary; Susan Quaiff, president of the PECMH Auxiliary; Frank Sharpe, secretary and treasurer for the Picton Model Railroaders; Jerry Kennedy, president of the Picton Model Railroaders; Gerry Henden with the Picton Model Railroaders; Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation; and Nancy Parks, Back the Build campaign chairperson. Briar Boyce photo

Following more than a half-century love of trains, the Picton Model Railroaders Club has come to the end of the line – but the final stop saw members on board with two donations to support the hospital.

In honour of its 53 years in the County, Picton Model Railroaders presented $5,000 to the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation and $5,000 to the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.

The model train club dissolved following the COVID-19 pandemic and since, members have been selling off equipment from their popular train shows and decided to reinvest the earnings into the community to give back to those who supported them.

“Over the last number of years, the club has suffered from a declining and aging membership,” said Jerry Kennedy, club president. “We wish to thank the club’s many supporters and fans. We highly value your support over our 51-plus years of operation and for the 30 years we held train shows. We are also grateful to those who purchased inventory from us. We hope that with these donations to our hospital, we can continue to touch the lives of thousands in our community.”

The club was founded in 1971 by Bill Thorley and Alan Capon with members from all over Prince Edward County and Belleville and associate members as far away as Toronto and Mexico.

The foundation will use its share toward the Back the Build funds for the new hospital, and the auxiliary will use its donation to fund priority medical equipment needed in the current hospital.

“It is full steam ahead as we work toward putting shovels into the ground for our new hospital this summer,” said Nancy Parks, chairperson of the Back the Build campaign. “Thanks to community groups like the Picton Model Railroaders, we are on track to realizing our dream of building a new hospital in Prince Edward County. We are grateful to those who support the hospital’s ongoing priority equipment needs and invest in our new hospital.”

“Without community fundraising, our hospital would not have the financial means to purchase equipment that ensures our hospital has the resources it needs to keep care close to home,” said Susan Quaiff, president of the PECMH Auxiliary.

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