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Photos in the barn capture spirit of Christmas giving

Pictured at the Andara Gallery barn, from left, are: Artist-owners Tara Wilkinson and Andrew Csafordi; Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation; Barbara McConnell, chairperson of the PECMH Foundation; Sally Cowan, Back the Build campaign cabinet member and Nancy Parks, Back the Build campaign chairperson. Briar Boyce photo

Local residents and visitors celebrating the season with a “holiday photo in the barn” helped raise $7,500 for the campaign to build a new hospital in Picton.

The spirit of Christmas was at an all time high at Andara Gallery as owners Tara Wilkinson and Andrew Csafordi presented the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation with the early Christmas gift.

As part of their annual Ode to Joy art show and sale, the two festively decorated their century-old barn with a stunning 18-foot Christmas tree from Skootamatta Christmas Tree Farm in Flinton, Ontario and welcomed people, for the third consecutive year, to visit their barn for a holiday photo in the barn.

More than 600 guests brought their cameras and the staff and volunteers took the photo in exchange for a donation to the PECMH Foundation’s Back the Build campaign. The fundraiser ran from Nov. 12 until Dec. 18.

Individuals, couples, families, work colleagues and groups of friends who came to the barn for a photo – raised the $7,500 this year – bringing their three-year total raised to $23,302.50 from more than 2,000 visitors and pets photographed to date.

A highlight of the event was when Nadia Knarr and Paul Bastiaanssen from Noble Beast Farms brought their lovely alpacas to the gallery to participate in the photo shoots.

“We were happy to provide such a joyful experience for our community that brought people together to create happy memories while raising money for the new hospital campaign,” said Wilkinson. “We are indebted to our friends and neighbours who helped us with this year’s event … and to the hundreds of people who came to have a festive photo taken in our beautiful century-old barn. Many happy holiday memories were made here again this season.”

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

“Every donation, no matter the size, makes a difference in the care you and your family will receive in our new hospital. 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.”


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