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Hospital auxiliary honours long-serving volunteers

Long-serving volunteers with the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary were honoured Sunday for their dedication to the 88-year old organization.

More than 70 people were honoured during the volunteer appreciation event at The View Restaurant at the Picton Golf and Country Club on Sunday.

This annual celebration honours volunteers who help the auxiliary promote healthcare in the County through service and fundraising for the new hospital build and necessary equipment, not funded by the government.

Significant milestones included the celebration of volunteers Pam Strachan and Rebecca MacKellar, (above) who have dedicated 12,000 and 16,000 volunteer hours respectively.

Catherine Dunlop has been a volunteer member of the auxiliary for the past 35 years (pictured above with auxiliary president Cathy Starkey at left).

Also dedicating 35 years with the auxiliary are Carol Ireland, Brenda Minaker and Sheila Wedekamm (not pictured).

The first PECMH Women’s Auxiliary meeting was held in 1934, resulting from an amalgamation of several County Women’s Institutes which had supported the hospital from its beginning in 1918.

Today the Auxiliary is open to both men and women and numbers about 400 volunteers when including all participants in fundraising, community services (including blood donor clinics, gardens, meals on wheels, scholarships), the Perfectly Preserved Group that makes jams and preserves for fundraisers; the Festival of Trees event crew, those who provide hospital services (coffee cart, dialysis, endoscopy and breast screening clinic) and the many volunteers at the Second Time Around Shop of Main St., Picton.

Its signature fundraising event, the Prince Edward County Festival of Trees, is being held this year, in-person at Isaiah Tubbs Nov. 25-27.

The Auxiliary has become a multi-million dollar jewel in the hospital’s fundraising crown, supporting the hospital foundation-led campaigns. In 2021, volunteers completed a million dollar pledge to Back the Build of the new hospital, and also purchased more than $100,000 in equipment for the hospital in Picton.

Currently, the Auxiliary has offered to make a 1:1 match on all gifts donated by the community for medical equipment needed at the County hospital, up to a total of $150,000. For every dollar raised, the auxiliary will donate a matching amount from now until Jan. 31, 2023.

“We are deeply committed to providing exceptional health care for the hospital, staff, and our community,” said Cathy Starkey, Auxiliary president.

Click here to learn more, or to join, the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.

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