Auxiliary volunteers at the presentation of the festival funds, back row, from left, are: 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.

People supporting the 29th annual Festival of Trees raised a record-breaking $60,000 which will be used to purchase a ‘Trophon’ needed to disinfect ultrasound probes and three vital signs monitor mounts for the emergency department at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital (PECMH).

On Friday, a small group of Prince Edward County Memorial Hosptial Auxiliary volunteers joyously presented the proceeds from the festival, held the weekend of Nov.25, 2022, at the Isaiah Tubbs Resort.

“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 equipment is to be purchased within the next few months. Access to a Trophon at the 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.

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.

“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 grateful to the volunteers who provide hundreds of hours of their time planning and executing the annual event. The Festival of Trees is the largest fundraising project held by the volunteer group. They give special mention to the Rotary Club of Picton and the Red Hat Ladies of Wellington for volunteering alongside the auxiliary members 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 more than 200 items to bid on in the 2022 Festival of Trees.

“Naturally, the Festival of Trees committee was 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,” said Jones. “We met all our financial goals and are happy to report that 100 per cent of the funds raised will be used to buy priority medical equipment for our own PECM Hospital.”

Jones noted 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.”

She added 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.”

Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation, said the hospital’s patients are fortunate to have 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 continues 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.”


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