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Photographs in the barn bring $6,700 in donations to build County’s new hospital

Pictured at the barn, from left at back, are: Briar Boyce, senior development officer with PECMHF; Sally Cowan, Back the Build campaign cabinet member; Monica Alyea, PECMHF board member; Andrew Csafordi, co-owner of Andara Gallery with Tara Wilkinson, at front, with: Nancy Parks, Back the Build campaign chairperson; and Barbara McConnell, PECMHF board chairperson. – Shannon Coull photo

Individuals, couples, families, work colleagues, book clubs and groups of friends who had their holiday photograph taken in a beautifully decorated barn, donated $6,700 toward the campaign to build a new hospital in Prince Edward County.

The spirit of Christmas was at an all-time high this year at Andara Gallery as artist-owners Andrew Csafordi and Tara Wilkinson welcomed the guests to their annual Ode to Joy event.

The couple, with help from friends, festively decorated their century-old barn with an 18-foot Christmas tree from the Skootamatta Christmas Tree Farm in Flinton and welcomed residents and visitors alike for the fourth consecutive “Holiday Photo in the Barn” fundraiser, this year from Nov. 17 – Dec. 17.

The weekend opened with Nadia Knarr and Paul Bastiaansen, from Noble Beast Farms, bringing their alpacas to the barn to participate in the photo shoots.

Following, more than 500 people brought their camera phones, and Csafordi took their photo in exchange for a donation to the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Back the Build campaign.

Highlights included a surprise marriage proposal in front of the tree (she said yes!); the celebration of a 60th wedding anniversary and an 80th birthday.

This year’s donation brings Andara Gallery’s four-year total raised to $30,000 in donations from more than 2,500 visitors (plus pets) photographed to date.

“We were happy once again to provide such a joyful experience that brought people together from near and far (including PEI, Quebec and BC) to create happy memories while raising money for the new hospital campaign,” said Wilkinson. “This year’s guests ranged from just four weeks old to 97 years young.”

“Many people came dressed in the spirit of the holidays, wearing everything from bowties and fancy dresses … to superhero PJs, eccentric holiday suits and festive sweaters.”

Back the Build campaign co-chair Nancy Parks thanked the couple, and all who supported this year’s event.

“Every donation, no matter the size, makes a difference,” said Parks. “We are extremely grateful to everyone who supported this festive fundraiser again this year as we work to modernize and enhance health care services to ensure people living in and visiting our community continue to have access to care close to home.”

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to raising funds for the hospital

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