Stark Family Fund supports local projects to the tune of $34,000

STARK SUPPORT- Winning Stark Family Fund grant recipients and members of the Community Foundation of Kingston & Area Monday evening. In total over $34,000 was presented to seven local organizations. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)


A total of seven local organizations in the community will benefit from the foresight and generous nature of the Stark sisters.

The class of successful Stark Family Fund recipients for 2019 were announced at the Bloomfield Town Hall on Monday evening and, with the help of the Community Foundation of Kingston & Area, over $34,000 was doled out to seven community causes that work with youth, the infirm and those dealing with food insecurities.

The Stark family included five sisters, Leata, Keitha, Sylvia, Ival and Ruth who were lifelong residents of Bloomfield. There were no children in the families and the decision was made to establish a permanent endowment fund from the accumulated estates of the five sisters and their spouses to support the needs of the local community.

In 2002, the last two surviving Stark sisters, Ival and Ruth  shared their wishes to leave their wealth to build their community with former pupil Tim Beatty and his wife Linda. 

The sisters gave a generous bequest to the Community Foundation for Kingston and Area and, since then, it has been responsible for more than $800,000 worth of grants that have supported education, health, social services, animal welfare and culture within Prince Edward County.

This year grants are being awarded in several fields of interest, reflecting the wide range of community initiatives that were of interest to the Stark Family.   

Charities receiving grants this year include:

  • Prince Edward Collegiate Institute

Adjustable Basketball Nets $4,933.07

Thanks to a grant from the Stark Family Fund, PECI is proud to announce an improvement to its  infrastructure with the installation of four adjustable basketball nets designed for young players. These nets will remove barriers for primary and intermediate learners to become more active and engaged during physical education  classes and also help the County Clippers provide age-appropriate leagues for our youngest students in Grades K – 2.

  • The Children’s Foundation

Playing for Keeps and Camps of Hope $8,000.00

The Children’s Foundation is the charitable arm of Highland Shores Children’s Aid and the funds from this grant will support our Playing for Keeps, Camps of Hope and Helping Hands programs. These three programs are essential to community development. In 2018, PFK helped 31 children register for a sport/activity, sent 32 children to camps and help 11 at-risk moms in Prince Edward County. 

“We are thankful to partner with great groups such as The Stark Family Fund to help one child at a time,” said Children’s Foundation representative Connie Reid.

  • Rotary Club of Picton

Bursaries for PECI $5,750.00

The local Rotary club was presented over $5,000 that will be handed out to members of the 2019 graduating class of PECI as those eight selected students make their way to post-secondary studies at Loyalist College and other colleges and universities across Ontario.

  • Prince Edward County Arts Council 

County Kids Read- Books for Our Very Young $3,600.00

The Stark Family Fund grant will be used to purchase 1,050 board and picture books to be distributed to free books to low income families and at-risk children ages 3-5 in Prince Edward County. 

“Ownership of the books is key to the project’s success and bookplates will be pasted in each book where a child’s name can be printed,” organizer Anne Preston said. “Our mission is to address the link between poverty and literacy by presenting free books.” 

  • Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation

Direct Patient Care Medical Equipment $4,421.00

This grant will used to purchase replacement IV Infusion Pumps that are critical in providing patient care. 

The Foundation  is extremely grateful for the ongoing support we have received from the Stark Family Fund over the years. Our small but mighty hospital continues to experience the pressures that all hospitals across Ontario face; patient visits continue to rise, as does the cost of critically important medical equipment. Funding support from organizations, like the Stark Family Fund, has tremendous impact on our ability to provide the standard and quality of care visitors and residents of the county deserve,” said Foundation Executive Director Shannon Coull.

  • Wellington & District Food Bank

Food to Share Cooking Sessions $3,200.00

Food to Share will hold cooking sessions for users of the Wellington and Picton Foodbanks in which a leader is trained in Safe Food Handling and kitchen organization by a Food to Share trainer. Foodbank clients will receive instruction and increase their skills in meal preparation as well as be able to share in the food being prepared.

  • Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation

Be SMART $4,421.00

This grant will used to purchase IV smart pumps with upgraded technology to prevent medication errors. 

Each year project proposals are invited from local charities, and the evaluated by a Prince Edward County based volunteer selection committee. Projects selected for funding are announced each June. The next grant application deadline is March 16, 2020.