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Retired Teachers’ windfall gifted to Community Care for Seniors

Presenting the $1,000 donation at the Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors building on King Street, Picton, back row, from left, are: Gerry Watts District President RTO/ERO, Sheila Van Soelen, member RTO/ERO, Pronica Janikowski, PEC Community Care Director; David Fox, member RTO/ERO and PEC Community Care Director with Debbie MacDonald Moynes, Executive Director PEC Community Care. At front, from left, are: Margaret Werkhoven, District Secretary RTO/ERO; PEC Community Care Past Chair Phyllis Davis, member RTO/ERO, Diane Turrall, District Treasurer RTO/ERO, MaryLynn Lester Secretary, PEC Community Care, Barb Proctor, Chair of the Board PEC Community Care and George McNabb member RTO/ERO.

A silver lining to the pandemic was surplus funds that members of the Retired Teachers of Ontario Hastings and Prince Edward District gifted on Tuesday, to help seniors in the community.

Gerry Watts, District 19 President, noted the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and restrictions created the unusual situation of having a surplus at year-end.

“As a not-for-profit organization, our income and expenditures need to balance,” said Watts. “How best to use that unexpected windfall became the question but the answer was an easy one as one of strategic goals is to improve the lives of members and seniors.” RTOERO’s

She noted the six Community Care for Seniors organizations in Hastings and Prince Edward counties do a great job of helping seniors (including many of RTOERO’s 1000-plus members) continue to live at home.

Community Support Services are only partially funded by Ontario Health East and rely on donations, moderate client fees and fund-raising to carry out their work. They operate with small staffs and many volunteers, a number of whom are RTOERO members.

“District 19 decided, therefore, to donate $1,000 to each of the Community Care agencies for North Hastings, Centre Hastings, South Hastings, Prince Edward and Quinte West, and to the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Home Support Program. ”

These organizations provide programs and services for older adults such as hot and frozen Meals on Wheels, foot care, grocery pick-up and delivery, escorted transportation for medical appointments, community stroke support, help with forms, telephone reassurance calls and social and recreational programs.

“Our agency has a long history of connections with the RTOERO and have found that they are responsive and well in tune with the community,” said Debbie MacDonald Moynes, executive director of The Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association. “This donation of $1,000 comes at a time when the pandemic has forced the on-and-off closure of our main fundraising venture – Community Care’s Thrift Shop at 153 Main Street in Picton – and really shows how much the RTOERO cares about the community where their members live. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts”

RTOERO, with more than 80, 000 members, is Canada’s largest membership organization for education workers and retirees. Its vision is “a healthy, active future for every member of the education retiree community in Canada. District 19, Hastings and Prince Edward has a membership of 1,032 retired teachers, administrators and other education workers.

For more information about the Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors and its services, call 613 476 7493 or visit online at

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