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Foundation fundraising milestone surpasses $2 million

Briar Boyce, senior development officer, left, and Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation pose outside the hospital to extends heartfelt thank you on behalf of the foundtion, to the donors who helped raise in excess of $2.3 million during the 2019/20 fiscal year. – Sue Vincent photo

For the first time in its history, the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation raised more than $2 milion in support of healthcare in Prince Edward County.

The milestone was celebrated at its annual general meeting June 25 – online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The AGM highlighted the Foundation’s achievements, particularly its fundraising work to provide state-of-the-art priority medical equipment and to help build the new hospital.

In total, the Foundation raised more than $2.3 million during the 2019/20 fiscal year.

Community activities that contributed to the Foundation’s success in the 2019/20 fiscal year included the ‘Bid for the Build’ art auction held in May 2019 that raised more than $118,000 for Back the Build hospital redevelopment and the Teeing Up Fore Health Care golf classic that netted over $30,000 for a defibrillator needed at PECMH.

“This past year, thanks to fundraising events and donors’ gifts, the hospital foundation has been able to fund several pieces of essential equipment such as a portable X-Ray machine, ultrasound stretcher, a defibrillator and a new SMART bed now in use at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital,” said Shannon Coull, executive director of the foundation.

“Thanks to the overwhelming support of our donors and partners, we transferred $354,719 to Quinte Health Care for medical equipment purchases for our County hospital,” said Coull. “The generosity of our supporters is inspiring and heartwarming – you are all truly making a difference in the lives of our patients and their families right here in Prince Edward County.”

In addition to the purchase of priority equipment, the Foundation’s Back the Build campaign for the new hospital is full steam ahead. In 2019/20, the fundraising team raised $1.5 million in cash donations toward the goal of $16.5 million for the new hospital.

Coull acknowledges that while $16.5 million is an ambitious target, fundraising is well under way with a new hospital ‘campaign cabinet’ established to lead the charge. Under the leadership of Co-Chairs, Nancy Parks and Dennis Darby, and in close consultation with Coull, the cabinet comprises nine volunteers who are actively seeking donations.

“We have more than $11.3 million in donor gifts in cash and pledges for our new hospital, leaving us with $5.5 million to go. We’re off to a great start,” Coull said. “It’s also important to note that while the new hospital has become a focus for the Foundation, it’s not an exclusive one. We still have the responsibility to raise money annually for priority medical equipment that will improve local healthcare services.”

In her presentation at the AGM, Board Chairperson Barbara McConnell said her participation on the volunteer board first as a director, and now in her second term as chairperson, has been rewarding.

“I see the foundation’s mission to raise money to support quality healthcare for everyone in the County as one of the most critical services available in this community,” she said. “I am very proud of the foundation board of directors and the staff for their commitment to ensuring we achieve the best possible outcomes against our goals. This volunteer board and the Foundation staff are deserving of our thanks and gratitude for all they do to help make sure our healthcare team is supported and has the equipment and facilities needed to do their job well. Their dedication to keeping our County hospital strong is unsurpassed.”

She noted that moving into the 2020/21 fiscal year, new challenges have presented themselves with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite COVID, our donors have been steadfast with their generosity and we thank all of Prince Edward County and beyond for faithfully supporting the Foundation.”

McConnell anticipates fundraising in the COVID environment may be different.

“We’ll have to be respectful of our donors’ and businesses’ abilities for philanthropy in the coming year and remember that we’re in this for the long term. But having access to a hospital close to home, is more important now than ever,” she said.

However, she has a positive outlook.

“We’re planning to look beyond the adversity for opportunities that we never imagined were there. Together with the incredible support of our community and our family of donors, we have accomplished so much and together we’ll find new pathways to continue our journey to building our new hospital in the County,” McConnell said.

Coull said in the coming year, the foundation will focus on its commitment to raising over $300,000 for medical equipment purchases at PECMH and regionally for Quinte Health Care, and on raising funds for the new hospital. The foundation will also celebrate its 35th anniversary of incorporation on July 23.

She emphasized the future success of the foundation’s work will depend on the ongoing support of donors in the region.

“I encourage everyone to please think and talk about the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation,” she said. “We know word of mouth is the best form of advertising, especially when you’re considering philanthropy, whether you’re supporting one of the foundation’s fundraising events, making a general donation, giving monthly, or through planned giving with a bequest.”

The PECMH Foundation’s audited financial statements are available online at http://pecmhf.ca/about/documents/

To make a donation or for more information, please contact the Foundation at 613-476-1008 ext. 4502, or visit the PECMHF website at www.pecmhf.ca.

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