Over a dozen local groups awarded Huff grants

Benefactors and facilitators of the Huff Family Fund at the announcement of the 2023 grant class on Wednesday. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

JASON PARKS

STAFF WRITER

A total of 13 organizations that serve to better Prince Edward County and its residents are being supported through a local philanthropy concern.

The County Foundation announced Wednesday  the 2022 Huff Family Fund grant recipients at Huff Estates Winery. The Huff Family Fund was established in 2017, officially launched the following year and is managed by The County Foundation.

The County Foundation is one of 201 Community Foundations in Canada. Since it was founded in 2008, The County Foundation has facilitated granting of over $4.2 million in Prince Edward County.

The Huff Fund supports a broad range of organizations benefiting Prince Edward County including addiction and mental health, animal welfare, arts and culture, healthcare and human services, housing issues and Vital Signs priority areas and since 2018 has granted over $440,000 into the community.

“The Huff Family Fund is an incredible investment in the future of Prince Edward County, projects and organizations supported by the Huff’s aim to better the community as a whole, and The County Foundation is honoured to play a role in that,” said Foundation executive director Dominique Jones.

In a joint statement Lanny and Catherine Huff  it was vital for a wider cross section of local organizations and initiatives to be supported through the fund.

“We believe in the importance of supporting our community and are happy to see this fund directed across diverse areas such as health, food security, education and learning, animal welfare, and more,” the couple said.

The Huff Family fund is a matching grant meaning that each dollar received must be matched by either dollars or volunteer time, increasing the impact of the funding.

Among the projects receiving support on Wednesday was County Kids Read and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

Anne Preston, Chair of the local youth literacy program, said the funding received from the Huff Family Fund will allow the group to bridge a post  pandemic learning gap with graphic novels geared for young readers.

“County Kids Read would like to thank the Huff Family Fund and the County Foundation for funding our grant application entitled, Post Pandemic: Closing the Learning Gap. The effects of school closures, online and at home learning caused learning gaps which were most pronounced for students from low income families or students struggling with literacy acquisition. The monies from this grant will be used to purchase books to aid in closing the learning gap for our community’s most vulnerable children,” she explained.

Funding from the Huff Family Fund will allow St. Andrew’s to source a Community Engagement Coordinator who will be dedicated to open community programming

“The Circle of Friends  at St. Andrew’s in Picton are deeply grateful for the vote of support as we continue to transform a traditional church into a dynamic community space in support of the health and well-being of the wider community,” said Rev. Lynne Donovan. “Our Community Engagement Team is now working towards collaborating with community partners who share this broad vision.”

Funding from the Huff Fund will also assist an initiate to see floor repairs completed at the Regent Theatre.

The Regent’s recent Accessible Seating Terrace renovation highlighted the need for the auditorium’s cement floor to be repaired and re-finished. Water damage sustained over the years by ceiling leaks (now fixed) as well as significant water damage caused by the change in water flow patterns resulting from ongoing construction in the vicinity has caused the floor paint to peel and the cement to deteriorate.

“The Regent Theatre is a heritage building which we have a duty to preserve. It is critical that steps be taken to repair the floor before irreparable damage occurs,” said Benjamin Thornton, Board Chair.

Funding funnelled to the Prince Edward Community Care for Seniors Association will allow for support of senior foot care health by way of the Footsteps to Feeling Better program. 

“We are very grateful for the generous grant from the Huff Family Fund to support the Foot Care program offered to seniors by Prince Edward Community Care,” said executive director Debbie MacDonald Moynes. “This donation makes it possible for us to replace aging instruments and equipment to ensure that our services to seniors remains top notch and safe.  Congratulations as well to the other recipients.”

The County of Prince Edward Library has designs on investing in a space for youth and providing greater access for technology.

“The County of Prince Edward Public Library & Archives is thrilled to be able to offer youth enhanced access to new technologies including virtual reality, video and audio production, and more thanks to the generous support of the Huff Family Fund. Knowing that not everyone has equal access to technology at home, it’s important that the library help level the playing field for all youth by providing access to everyone,” said  CEO Barbra Sweet.

Other 2022 RECIPIENTS

Kente Public School – Outdoor classroom. 

The Alzheimer Society of Hastings Prince Edward – Brain health education sessions.

Baxter Arts Centre – Completion of an accessible entrance.

Prince Edward Learning Centre – Financial empowerment outreach and satellite offices.

Kate’s Rest Foundation – Aquaponic farming initiative. 

Victim Services Hastings Prince Edward – Volunteer engagement in PEC.

Gift from the heart – Mobile dental care. 

Loyalist Humane Society – Installation of a new drilled well. 

To learn more about The Huff Family Fund or The County Foundation please visit www.thecountyfoundation.ca.