After launching in 2018 with a low key adult-event and returning in 2022 with a new scope and scale, the Prince Edward County Period Party project is back for 2023.
The initiative to raise funds, awareness and menstrual goods began off as a one-person team and has since morphed into community members from all over reaching out and wanting to help. PEC Period Party is a community project that seeks to raise awareness on local period poverty , fundraises for essential hygiene products and creates a safe space for menstruating people to normalize talking about menstrual health.
In 2022, then 9-year-old Ramona Roblin joined the team and is now co-organizer of the PEC Period Party along with former School Board trustee Alison Kelly. This year’s Period Party will take place March 19 at The Regent Theatre. Doors open at 1 p.m. with a screening of My Girl starting at 2pm.
“Our volunteer base includes Nell Casson, Kelly Roblin, Natalie Finkelstein, Felicia van Noordt and more who are reaching out to help out during the event and to help deliver products post event,” Kelly said to The Gazette. “Local businesses have also been key in our success. 555 Brewery was a supporter on day one and has been joined through the years by Kelly’s Shop and Midtown Brewery as drop off locations. Kelly’s has become the PEC Period Party Headquarters where Ramona and I host planning meetings.”
Drop off locations for this year include Kelly’s Shop in Picton, 555 Brewery in Picton, PECish in Milford, Creekside Cafe in Wellington, The Dressing Room in Rossmore, Adega WineBar in Consecon, PEC Acupuncture in Picton and Evergreen Kids in Sophiasburgh.
“This project has forced the community to talk about menstruation,” Kelly expressed. “It forced policy changes. In 2019, HPEDSB introduced accessible products in school bathrooms because of the work by then student trustee Madison Davies. In 2022, the county agreed to look into the feasibility of making products accessible, and we won’t stop advocating until every single public bathroom in PEC has products readily available. Until period poverty is a thing of the past, we won’t stop.”
Last year organizers raised over $10,000 in products and $2,000 in cash donations. Kelly and Roblin know it will be hard to beat this high water mark but they have hope.
Products raised will go back into the community by way of schools, local agencies and individuals/families. Cash donations will be directed to the Learning Foundation Emergency Fund so local schools can support families however they see fit.
“This is a community project and wouldn’t have the success it’s had if not for the amazing folks in PEC and beyond who want to be part of the solution,” added Kelly.
Last years product and donations raised went to all HPEDSB and ALCDSB PEC schools, PEFAC, PELC (incl Good Food Market), Picton Library, ROC Youth Centre, The Mohawks of Bay of Quinte, Ukraine Donation Drop-off etc. 4 coin-free machines and additional products were donated to: PECI (2), Athol-South Marysburgh School and CML.
For more information please visit their Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/pecperiodparty/