For the second straight year, the Prince Edward Curling Club has delivered on the button.
After the din of yelps and hollers had subsided and the crashing of rocks in the house had eased, Club organizers announced Monday that the second annual 24-hour Curl-a-thon in support of Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Back the Build campaign had raised $56,111.30.
Hurry hard, indeed.
While the Curl-a-thon raised just over $50,000 in 2023, Club President Ron Stakes explained organizers were slightly more modest in their projections this time around, given the state of the economy and because the novelty of the inaugural event might have waned.
“We are simply over the moon that we’ve been able to raise over $100,000 in two years’ time,” Mr. Stakes said.
Over 160 curlers took part in the event. A “corporate challenge” was a hit, with nearly 10 organizations sponsoring one or more teams. And whether participants knew the art of the double-razed takeout first hand, or only picked up a broom when it comes time to clean the kitchen, more than a few are hooked.
“A lot of these folks aren’t curlers right now but they are eager to learn and we will teach them,” said even organizer Pam Piercy. “This has been a great opportunity to raise the profile of the club.”
Pledge earners worked extra diligently in the lead up to this year’s event. No one represented that dogged determination more than club member Vanessa Vanstittart, who raised more than $10,000 in pledges by herself.
Ms. Piercy added that organizers were forever grateful for local businesses who donated food for the curlers as well as items for the silent auction.
Members of the Foundation were on hand for the event close on Sunday.
Foundation chair Barb McConnell noted the community spirit that was evident this weekend at the curling club. With this most recent contribution, an inpatient room at the new PECMH takes the name of the club.
“By the time you host your next Curl-a-thon, we are hoping to have shovels in the ground,” the Chair said. “The new PECMH will have a 24/7 Emergency Department, inpatient services, dialysis and a CT scanner. Thank you to the Prince Edward Curling Club, it’s so important to have you as a community partner.”
Quinte Health President Stacey Daub said the health of a community is more than just healthcare. The full-throated cheers of the participants this weekend made it clear: this group of curlers have a great love for their community.
“Seeing it reminds me of why I love living in the County and how much the people love their community,” said Ms. Daub.
The new hospital could open in 2027. the Foundation is nearing its Back the Build goal of $27 million, which covers 10 per cent of the total build cost and all the capital medical equipment costs. With just over three years to go until what will be the most joyous ribbon cutting ceremony in recent history, the campaign is about $6 million away.
“At Quinte Health, we know the Foundation is going to reach their goal and we are supporting them in that journey every step of the way,” she added.