Festival of Trees breaks fundraising record in 2022

The 2022 Festival of Trees event was a rousing success. Pictured at a recent cheque presentation are from left back row: Auxiliary volunteers Judy Anderson; Marg Wright; Sue Law; Denise Linnett; Carol Harvey; Kim Harrington and Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation. At front: Auxiliary volunteers Mary Leyendeckers; Liz Jones and Pat Evans. (Submitted Photo)

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation (PECMHF) is starting the new year off strong with a gift from a group of volunteers who have a big heart for their hospital.

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary was pleased to return to their tradition of giving with a gift to the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation. On Friday, a small group of Auxiliary volunteers joyously presented the proceeds raised at the 2022 Festival of Trees that took place the weekend of November 25, 2022, at Isaiah Tubbs Resort.

Festival patrons supporting the 29th annual Festival of Trees raised a record-breaking $60,000! These funds will be used to purchase of a Trophon needed to disinfect ultrasound probes and three vital signs monitor mounts for the Emergency Department at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital (PECMH). These pieces of equipment will be purchased within the next few months.

On average, almost 3,000 ultrasound procedures are performed each year at PECMH. Many of those scans require the use of an ultrasound probe that needs to be disinfected after each use. A Trophon is a machine that provides high-level disinfection using a vaporized hydrogen peroxide solution. The Trophon eliminates a range of pathogens including multi-drug resistant bacteria, blood borne viruses and sexually transmitted infections.

Festival of Trees returned to Isiah Tubbs in 2022. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

Access to a Trophon at our County hospital allows ultrasound sonographers to administer more exams needing an ultrasound probe throughout the day as probes do not need to be sent off-site for disinfection.

“Having this Trophon allows Quinte Health’s staff timely access to equipment, particularly when a patient requires an ultrasound that uses a probe right away,” said Dusty MacDonald, interim manager of the Medical Device Reprocessing Department at Quinte Health. “High level disinfection of medical devices such as ultrasound probes is an essential part of the fight against healthcare-associated infections. The Trophon system eliminates all hazardous chemicals previously associated with reprocessing ultrasound probes, creating a worker friendly option for the processing of these devices.”

The Auxiliary is very grateful to the volunteers who provide hundreds of hours of their time planning and executing this annual event. The Festival of Trees is the largest fundraising project that is held by the volunteer group. Special mention goes to the Rotary Club of Picton and the Red Hat Ladies of Wellington for volunteering alongside the Auxiliary throughout the Festival.

“The Festival of Trees committee along with the PECM Hospital Auxiliary board and volunteers extend a heartfelt thank you to the people who donated, and bid on the wonderful auction items, purchased baked goods or preserves from the Perfectly Preserved team, or bought items from the Second Time Around Shop Christmas boutique,” said Liz Jones, manager of the Festival of Trees. “Again this year, our community showed up and was very generous in both donating and bidding.”

There were over 200 fabulous items to bid on as part of the 2022 Festival of Trees.

“Naturally, the Festival of Trees committee were nervous about the first in-person event since COVID hit. However, we are all so grateful to this generous community for supporting us with their time, entries, donations, attendance and bids. We met all our financial goals and are happy to report that 100 percent of the funds raised will be used to buy priority medical equipment for our own PECM Hospital,” said Jones.

The Perfectly Preserved group spent countless hours in the kitchen and at summer markets, as well as providing holiday treats by pre-order. This was the perfect recipe for success and their efforts contributed greatly to the overall success of the Festival of Trees.

The Second Time Around Shop volunteers collect, throughout the year, the very best donated items to be sold in their Christmas Boutique. This initiative is highly sought after by the community and is a huge boon to the Festival’s overall goal.

“Through these contributions, the PECMH Auxiliary are making a big impact on the well-being and safety of patients visiting the hospital,” said Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation. “Our patients are fortunate to have such a committed team of volunteers fundraising on their behalf. On average, the staff at PECMH manage over 40,000 patient visits annually. Thanks to our donors, including the PECMH Auxiliary, our dedicated team of Care Champions continue to have access to the equipment and tools they need to be able to provide you and your loved ones with the care you deserve, close to home. Community support is so important because medical equipment is not paid for by the government. Your donations support the skilled and compassionate care that is happening everyday inside the hospital.”

“The Auxiliary is indebted to many people, who have worked enthusiastically and tirelessly to make the Festival of Trees a very special event: our sponsors and donors, the Festival Committee, our volunteers and friends who worked many hours, all those who baked and preserved and purchased goods at the various markets over the summer, or those who visited the Second Time Around Shop boutique,” said Cathy Starkey, president of the PECMH Auxiliary.

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to raising funds to advance health care for the patients of the hospital and the people of Prince Edward County