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Hospital auxiliary infuses $50,000 into equipment that helps save lives

Community volunteers with the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary pumped another $50,000 into equipment that helps save lives.

Thursday morning, auxiliary members presented the donation to the hospital’s foundation – funds raised despite a vicious snow storm on the final last-minute bidding day of their 12th annual Festival of Trees fundraiser held the last weekend of November.

Thanking the auxiliary members, Barbara McConnell, chairperson of the PECMH Foundation, said she feels a heart-felt kinship and called them “the angels of our foundation who are there for us and have our back.

“It’s remarkable to think that the work the auxiliary does has accumulated to such an astonishing amount – more than $2 million, since 1998.”

Festival goers helped raise the $50,000 for the purchase of 15 IV infusion pumps that deliver nutrients and medication into a patient’s body in controlled amounts. The pumps can deliver insulin or other hormones, antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs and pain relievers and are used throughout the hospital.

Festival chair Jack Starkey and Foundation chair Barbara McConnell with two of the new infusion pumps.

“The Festival of Trees committee along with the PECM Hospital Auxiliary board and volunteers extend a heartfelt thank you to the people who donated, and bid on the beautifully decorated trees, purchased baked goods, draw tickets and items from the Second Time Around Shop Christmas Boutique,” said Jack Starkey, outgoing chairperson of the committee. “We are also thrilled to have the support of so many local musicians who helped fill the dining room at Isaiah Tubbs with merry songs and entertainment as 209 entries were bid on, and the festive food sale held in lower MacDonald Hall was a tremendous success.”

The new pumps are now available for use in the County’s hospital which cares for more than 50 people a day, on average. There were more than 41,000 patient visits in 2019.

Shannon Coull, the foundation’s executive director, thanked the auxiliary and all who support it, for playing a critical role in providing funding for essential, specialized equipment.

“Support from partners, like the auxiliary, is so important because medical equipment is not paid for by the government. Hospitals need their communities to help equip them, through donations to the foundation,” she said.

Cathy Starkey, president of the PECMH Auxiliary, noted its members are indebted to many people who work cheerfully and tirelessly to make the Festival of Trees a special event – and to those who attend in support of the annual fundraiser.

Work has already begun for the 13th annual festival, again at Isaiah Tubbs Resort, on the last weekend of November. Auxiliary past-president Liz Jones will be taking over the role of chairperson, and notes the making of marmalade has already begun, while oranges are plentiful.

The foundation is nearing the end of its annual appeal for equipment funding – this year needing to raise $398,200 by March 31, 2020.

“With the auxiliary’s support today, we are getting closer to reaching our goal,” said Coull.

While fundraising is going well for the Back the Build Campaign for a new hospital, the foundation chairman added “We can’t forget that while we are doing all for the bricks and mortar for the new hospital, we have to keep supplying the essential medical equipment that this hospital needs every day.”

Click here for information about how to make donations, call 613-476-1008, or visit the foundation office at the hospital, 403 Main Street East, Picton.

Click here to learn more about how to become a PECMH Auxiliary volunteer.

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