It’s Our Hospital – column 17

briar boyceUncategorized

It’s Our Hospital
By Fran Donaldson, Vice-Chair of PECM Hospital Foundation
As summer slips away, the Foundation has been busy.
The Bake Off at the Picton Fair was beautifully organized by Susan Harrington of the Agricultural Society. This year, there were fewer entries from celebrity chefs and more from home cooks. The judges – retired nurse Mary Everall, Judy Jones from the Fair Board, Patrick Menard of the OPP and Foundation Director Ken Menlove – had to taste them ALL! Repeat champion Kerry Reynolds of the Kinettes was declared the overall winner for her bumbleberry pie, and a new entrant, Cathy Starkey, won both a first prize for her blueberry pie and a second for her chocolate cake decorated with white chocolate chips. Yummmm! The auction, conducted by Creighton Carr, was spectacular: over $3 000 was raised for the Foundation, a record for the Fair, moving them to a new level on the hospital’s donor wall. Thank you and congratulations!
The next day, a completely different but equally successful event was held, part of a series planned to establish a network of “Friends of Our Hospital” in preparation for the roll-out of the upcoming New Hospital Build Campaign. And who better to host the first one than Fran Renoy, one of our hospital’s strongest supporters. At the request of Foundation Directors Lillian Duffy and John Walker, Fran invited some 30 of her friends to her home, where Executive Director Penny Rolinski made a brief presentation and then the guests were able to visit with Lillian and Penny and Briar Boyce of the Foundation. This was NOT a fund-raiser, just an opportunity to meet, learn about the Foundation and the new hospital project, and enjoy Fran’s hospitality. Stay tuned for more.
And this week, on a glorious summer Sunday afternoon, the Foundation, with help from Whattam Funeral Home and Hicks Funeral Home in Picton and Ainsworth’s in Wellington, held the first TWO simultaneous butterfly events. Hundreds of Monarch butterflies were released in honour and memory of loved ones who have passed away. The idea came from a conversation between Foundation Communications and Donations Co-ordinator Briar Boyce and long-time donor and friend of the Foundation Marion Smith. Asked about the most memorable event she ever attended, Marion immediately recalled a butterfly release.
Butterflies are an acknowledgement of a life lived. Their release signifies freedom and encourages those left behind to take another step in the healing process. So on Sunday Maureen Finnegan in Picton and the children of Tod Lavender in Wellington released the first group of butterflies, then the dozens of other participants released their own. This again was not a fund-raiser; butterflies, dormant in their cooled boxes, were sold to participants on a cost-recovery basis. The Monarchs were delivered to each location in tiny individual packages, keeping the butterflies in a comfortable, hibernated state until the time of release. Once the packages were opened, the natural heat and light awakened them.
Thank you to our sponsors, to Maureen and Leo Finnegan, Lanny and Catharine Huff, Cline and Lou Pierson, and to all who helped with this memorable “first”. My best memory may be of five-year-old Evelyn, in her butterfly-print dress climbing a tree in Whattam’s garden with her sisters, while nearby a grandmother patiently and protectively held her butterfly as it prepared for lift-off. This is certain to become an annual event (and let’s hope the weather is just as nice next year).
For more information about the Foundation and upcoming events, or to learn how you can help, please contact Penny or Briar in the Foundation Office at (613) 476-1008 ext. 4503 or 4425 or visit