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Stark Family Fund shares more than $70,000 with community


The Stark Family Fund awarded $70,969 to 14 local community projects at a gathering at the Macaulay Museum, Thursday night.

The Beatty family – Linda and Tim and their sons Kyle; Ryan, and wife Victoria, welcomed familiar and new faces and thanked the many volunteers for the work they do in the community.

The fund was established in 2003 with a bequest of more than $1.3 million from Ruth Stark, the last remaining member of a family that included four other sisters, Leata, Keitha, Sylvia and Ival.

The five sisters were lifelong residents of the village of Bloomfield, and it was their wish to see the village and county’s residents continue to be supported, particularly in the educational, health and cultural fields.

“They were kind, quiet and giving so it’s nice to remember where this money came from,” said Linda Beatty. “It was their hard-work, savings and vision for the future that we’re all able to share.”

Tim Beatty explained a conversation with Ruth and the family that involved either making a list and giving it all away, or choosing the foundation route.

“Truly, we have been, as a family, left one of the greatest gifts you could ever imagine. It is a lot of work, but also a lot of gratitude and appreciation from our family to people who volunteer.”

Last year, the Museums of Prince Edward County in cooperation with History Lives Here Inc. received a grant from the Stark Family Fund to produce a vignette about the Stark sisters of Bloomfield for Peter Lockyer’s History Moments video series.

Every year, applications from Prince Edward County charities are submitted to the Community Foundation for Kingston and Area are screened and considered by a committee of local residents.

This year, funding was presented to the following:

Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation – Replacement for Endoscopy and Pharmacy- $25,000
Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation raises funds to advance health care of patients in the County. In 2016-17 it is fundraising $258,151 to replace equipment for the pharmacy, endoscopy, inpatient and emergency departments. This donation will go toward upgraded equipment for the endoscopy scopes done at Picton. Last year, more than 3,200 people had scopes done at Picton.

The Quinte Children’s Foundation- Continued Expansion into Prince Edward County – $6,000
The Children’s Foundation is the charitable arm of the Highland Shores Children’s Aid. The foundation has been in operation for 23 years and last February began expanding programs and services to Prince Edward County. The money from this grant will go toward its Playing for Keeps and and Reach for Success bursary programs. The two programs provide access to sports, music and arts programs as well as financial assistance to post-secondary students who otherwise may have to do without.

Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory- Migration Monitoring Educator – $1,850
PEPtBO is a migration research station located along the eastern tip of Prince Edward County in the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area. An important goal of the organization is to educate the public about avian migration and monitoring at the Bird Observatory. This funding will help increase the public education and outreach component of the activities through installation of a portable classroom to be used during May and October by the Migration Monitoring educator.

Festival Players of Prince Edward County – Made in the County 10th Anniversary Season – $2,500
In 2016, Festival Players will celebrate its 10th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the company will produce three new works by, for and about Prince Edward County. Included is A Splinter in the Heart production based on Ameliasburgh poet Al Purdy’s only novel that tells the story of the British Chemical plant explosion on Thanksgiving day in 1918. It will also help produce ‘A Tale of a Town’, a collection of stories collected last year from community members.

County of Prince Edward Public Library- Prince Edward County Makerspaces – $1,500
The library is creating two makerspaces with a teen focus. Makerspaces are centres where people and tools can come together to conceive, experiment, design and create. Construction of the first is under way in the Picton branch. Along with library’s 3D printer, the library has invested in beginner circuitry, green screen technology, basic robotics and magnetics for Picton’s space and has committed to create a lab to serve the teens of Wellington as well.

Wellington United Church – Commercial Dishwasher Replacement – $3,000
The grant will assist in the replacement and installation costs of a commercial dishwasher at Wellington United Church. The church works with the Storehouse Foodbank volunteers by sharing its kitchen to help teach cooking skills, prepare and freeze food for those in need. It also provides support for budding food entrepreneurs in the community who are committed to the ideas of local food security and sustainability and provides support for senior and community groups by providing MOH inspected kitchen facilities.

Food to Share – Food to Share Educational Component – Two grants for $1,600
Food to Share’s mandate is to reduce food insecurity in Prince Edward County. Food to Share takes produce donated by local farmers and with the help of 100 volunteers picks and prepares healthy, nutritious produce for local food banks. Response from the community resulted last year in gathering 14,000 pounds of fresh produce and preparinge 4,000 meals. One grant will fund development of an educational component, and the other, to help develop operational protocol, development and documentation of business plans and practices so Food to Share can operate efficiently and effectively going forward.

The Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association- Helping Seniors Stay Active – $3,000
2016 marks 39 years that Prince Edward Community Care has been supporting seniors to live at home through many programs, including active living and quality foot care to help seniors maintain a good quality of life. Community Care will use this grant to update equipment and supplies for its thriving foot care and Tai Chi programming offered to seniors in the County.

Rotary Club of Picton – Awards and Bursaries to Prince Edward Collegiate Grads – $5,750
Five $1,000 Stark Family Fund Awards will be presented to five graduates of Prince Edward Collegiate Institute, and three ($250) prizes of which will go to graduates who will be attending Loyalist College. The recipients are determined by the high school and are to be presented at the graduation ceremony later this month.

Recreation Outreach Centre- Guy Time program- $7,500
Guy Time is a seven-week program offering six weeks in-school and a field trip experience. The program is hosted weekly at five schools across the County and is open to all boys in Grade 7 and 8. The program supports personal, social and emotional development creating a sense of belonging in the participants’ school and larger community. Guy Time promotes healthy relationships and unique opportunities with an additional focus on identifying risky behaviours in male youth and developing appropriate preventative strategies. The grant will cover program food, snacks, supplies, activity fees and transportation.

Reaching for Rainbows – RFR Food, Fun and Families- $2,172
Reaching for Rainbows is a non-profit after-school program providing a safe place for 30 girls in Grades one to four who may be among the most vulnerable children in the community. The structured, play-based learning program provides a caring atmosphere contributing to the development of healthy, confident, successful young girls. Particular emphasis is placed on relationships, conflict resolution, problem solving and decision making skills. The Food, Fun and Families project would fund daily snacks for the girls and two annual meals, one in the autumn and one in the spring where the Rainbows team and the families of the Rainbows girls share a celebratory meal.

County of Prince Edward – Museums of PEC deVries Taxidermy Collection Project – $7,500
The County Museums has an opportunity to acquire an extensive and local private collection of nearly 500 natural history specimens in taxidermy, crafted by late County resident, Jake deVries. They range from waterfowl to songbirds, mammals to reptiles to fish. Ameliasburgh Heritage Village has identified its “Green Barn” as the preferred home for the collection. Although the building has ample space, it requires upgrades to be suitable for the collection. The Stark Family Fund grant will be used toward display materials including exhibit cases and text panels, etc.

County Clippers – Junior Jammers Basketball Adapters- $1,997.52
The County Clippers currently offers basketball leagues and programs for Prince Edward County youth in grades K-12 and we are in need of new adjustable nets for “little hoop stars” in Grades K-3. The grant purchases two backboard adapters, designed to convert any regulation goal to a lower height. Having the adapters helps to increase the number of young children in the County able to participate in the program.

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  1. Sharon says:

    Is Picton Rotary a charity? I don’t understand their receipt of funds.

  2. Dennis Fox says:

    What a wonderful example of community spirit the Stark family have shown us. The money they worked so hard for over many years, will be used for even more years to help those in need. A true legacy of community caring.

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