Even before the fundraising event was fully underway Penny Rolinski was placing Walt’s Sugar Shack Shindig firmly in the win column.
“It’s a real show of how much the hospital matters to people,” said the executive director of the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation (PECMHF).
“The number of auction items that have been donated and people who have come out to help by laying down gravel and donating picnic tables.
“For me it really has nothing to do with the funds raised. It has everything to do with the support that the community is giving us right now by pulling an event like this together.”
“I think our small little hospitals like Picton and Trenton are pretty important to the community,” said Brian Walt of Walt’s Sugar Shack. “We’re hoping that it helps out with some equipment purchases.”
Visitors to the sugar shack had the opportunity to partake in a pancake breakfast, listen to live music, buy something from the vendors market or climb inside a fire truck supplied by the Prince Edward County Fire Department.
By Shortly after 10 a.m. A steady trickle of people were taking the hay-wagon ride up the Walt’s long driveway to the event.
“This kind of event is a little different than the ones they have in the spring like Maple in the County,” said Walt. “It grows generally over the course of the day.”
All money raised form the event goes towards the purchase of equipment for PECMH.
“We’ve talked about what’s called a touch-and-go panel that the nurses will use,” said Rolinski. “Currently if the nurses need to unlock medications or something they have to enter a pin code and of course you can get it wrong, you can forget your pin code because you’ve been off for a week. It slows you down, it takes time.”
The touch-and-go panel would allow nurses to walk up and, with a thumbprint or fingerprint much like you can unlock a smartphone, they can unlock the system.
“It saves time for the nurses. So that’s one of the items.”
Rolinski added there’s no shortage of need when it comes to medical equipment as, since PECMH is the low-risk endoscopy centre for the Quinte Health Care region, it regularly uses a variety of specialized scopes.
“Those run roughly $30,000 a piece and they last about five years, maybe 10 years,” she said. “Medical equipment is incredibly expensive and it doesn’t have a huge lifespan because, in-between every use, it has to be completely sterilized and tested and sometimes have to be taken apart to ensure it’s been properly sterilized. So there’s a lot of wear and tear.”
Rolinski also pointed out replacing medical equipment is not covered by government funding.
“Government pays for wages, they pay for most of the building costs, but as far as providing all of those medical devices that you use when you’re in the hospital, that’s up to the community to raise.”
It’s that community, particularly the ones involved in Saturday’s fundraiser, that Rolinski is grateful to.
“I think they have about 50 volunteers here today, so a sincere thank you to everyone who has put time into this event.”