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Festival of Trees supporters raise $51,000

At the presentation of funds from this year’s Festival of Trees event, Dr. Andy Janikowski, a PECMHF board member, and Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation (seated front, centre) are pictured with PECMH Auxiliary volunteers in the auxiliary office at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital. Briar Boyce photo

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation (PECMHF) is ending the year strong with a gift from people who have a big heart for their hospital.

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary (PECMHA) presented $51,000 to the foundation – funds raised by patrons supporting the 30th annual Festival of Trees Dec. 1-3.

These funds will be used to purchase a transport ventilator needed in the emergency department at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital (PECMH). This equipment will be purchased within the next few months.

A ventilator is a machine that breathes for you, or helps you breathe, if you can no longer do it alone. They are often used in life support situations. Many medical conditions, such as pneumonia, COPD, brain injuries and strokes, require the use of a ventilator.

“Having this transport ventilator allows Quinte Health’s staff timely access to equipment, particularly when a patient requires ventilation right away,” said Lisa Mowbray, hospital site lead and manager of patient services at PECMH. “These ventilators support all patient populations, from neonates to adults. No matter where the patient is, or where they need to go, the ventilator will stay by their side, providing continuous support in the emergency department or any transport situation in or outside the hospital.”

The auxiliary is grateful to the 100-plus volunteers who spent hundreds of hours planning and executing the annual festival – the largest single fundraising project the auxiliary holds. Special mention goes to the Rotary Club of Picton and the Red Hat Ladies of Wellington for volunteering alongside the auxiliary throughout the event.

“The Festival of Trees committee, along with the PECMHA board and volunteers, extend a heartfelt thank you to Isaiah Tubbs for donating the event space and to the people who donated and bid on the spectacular auction items and purchased baked goods,” said Liz Jones, volunteer manager of the Festival.

“We also thank those who donated their musical talents or bought items from the Second Time Around Shop Christmas boutique. Again, this year, our community showed up and was very generous in donating, bidding and buying” more than 225 items to bid on.

“We are all so profoundly grateful to this generous community for supporting us with their time, entries, donations, attendance and bids – especially as so many are facing financial hardship this year. We exceeded our financial goal and are happy to report that the funds raised will be used to buy the priority medical equipment for our local hospital,” said Jones.

In response to feedback, new this year, the Festival of Trees committee initiated a bake sale at Isaiah Tubbs, and everything was gone by 1 p.m. Saturday.

As part of the Festival of Trees, the Auxiliary’s Second Time Around Shop volunteers collect, throughout the year, the very best donated items to be sold in their Christmas Boutique.

“The auxiliary is indebted to many people who have worked enthusiastically and tirelessly to make the Festival of Trees an extraordinary event – our sponsors and donors, the Festival Committee, our volunteers and friends who worked many hours, all those who baked, and those who visited the Second Time Around Shop boutique,” said Susan Quaiff, president of the PECMH Auxiliary.

“Through these contributions, the PECMH Auxiliary is making a big impact on the well-being and safety of patients visiting the hospital,” said Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation. “Our patients are fortunate to have such a committed team of volunteers fundraising on their behalf. On average, the staff at PECMH manage over 43,000 patient visits annually. Thanks to our donors, including the PECMH Auxiliary, our dedicated team of Care Champions continues to have access to the equipment and tools they need to provide you and your loved ones with the care you deserve close to home. Community support is important because the government does not pay for medical equipment. Your donations support the skilled and compassionate care happening daily inside the hospital.”

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