Stark Family Fund hands out $55,451

A Stark difference - Stark Family Fund representatives Tim Beatty (left) and Linda Beatty (front row, second from right) pose with representatives from the nine community organizations that were successful in receiving $55,451 in grants. Two of the bids — one by Music at Port Milford and the Impact Arts Camp, and another from the Canadian Cancer Society — were supported by the fund for the first time this year. (Briar Boyce/For The Gazette)

Bloomfield sisters’ bequest has led to more than $800,000 in community gifts

As teachers, Bloomfield’s Stark sisters — Leata, Keitha, Sylvia, Ival and Ruth — were in the business of preparing younger generations for their future.

In 2002, the last two surviving sisters, Ival and Ruth had grander plans for that vocation. They shared their wishes to leave their wealth to build their community with former pupil Tim Beatty and his wife Linda. The sisters gave a generous bequest to the Community Foundation for Kingston and Area. Since then, it has been responsible for more than $800,000 worth of grants that have supported education, health, social services, animal welfare and culture within Prince Edward County.

This year, a local committee of volunteers continued that tradition by wading through submitted applications to hand out grants to nine organizations, totalling $55,451.

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation had the most sizeable grant as it received $26,490.25 for direct patient care equipment.

The foundation’s president, Monica Alyea, received the donation Monday evening at the Bloomfield Town Hall and shared information about a patient transport monitor that will be funded.

“We are on the road to a new hospital, but in the meantime, we have needs,” Alyea said. “One of our needs has been for a patient transport monitor.”

Alyea explained that of the 38,000 people that come to the Picton hospital each year, 700 of them will be transferred to another hospital — often in  Belleville or Kingston. The monitors go with the patients to ensure their safe transfer.

Alyea said the foundation was “very grateful” as she thanked the fund’s administrators for their continued support. The $26,490.25 is less than one-tenth of the $280,146 the foundation is hoping to raise for priority equipment purchases within its 2018-2019 fiscal year.

As per its custom over the past several years, the fund also supported the Trenton Memorial Hospital, which provides the closest primary care for many residents in the northwest end of the county. This year, the Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation received $5,000 for its Care For Tomorrow campaign.

The effort seeks to replace a 12-year-old CT Scan. With a new piece of equipment, the hospital hopes to improve image quality and diagnosis, reduce down time for repairs and wait times for scans. It can also better accommodate larger patients and those who are claustrophobic and reduce exposure to radiation by 30-50 per cent. It is expected the new machine and related renovations, which will cost $1.4 million will also allow an increase in scans per day.

Two additional health-related grants were announced Monday. The Hastings- Prince Edward chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society will be receiving $4,000 for Wheels of Hope, a service that supplies reliable transportation for cancer patients to go to treatment appointments without worrying about arrangements.

The Wellington Auxiliary Rescue Association, a volunteer auxiliary of the Canadian Coast Guard, dispatched to the aid of vessels in distress by the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre at CFB Trenton will receive an automated external defibrillator for its boat at a cost of $2,394.74.

The bulk of this year’s grants will help programs whose core purpose is to help local youth.

The Recreation Outreach Centre (ROC) received $4,000 for its Youth Linked In project. The project, which impacts 130 youth aged 12-18 fosters opportunities for the youth to tae on volunteer leadership posts in the county.  Youth can be embedded on boards and committees, involved with the ROC’s Youth Advisory Committee, or involved in entrepreneurship or skills training.

The Children’s Foundation also received $4,000. It will help more youth become involved in community activities through its Playing For Keeps and Camps of Hope programming. It also plans to support the Helping Hands program, a support to help young mothers-to-be make meaningful life changes.

Music at Port Milford received $2,000 to purchase instruments for their one-week choral day camp. The instruments will also be loaned to the Impact Arts Camp, a program PECI art department head Matthew Sheahan started two years ago to ensure all youth can afford to access summer arts programming.

Easter Seals Ontario succeeded in receiving $1,817, which is the cost of sending one child with physical disabilities to a fully accessible camp. Children’s involvement in camp often removes barriers like social isolation and allows for the development of social skills, independence and self esteem.

Lastly, the fund continued its partnership with the Rotary Club of Picton to hand out Stark Bursaries at PECI graduation later this month. With $5,750 from the fund, the club is able to hand out five $1,000 bursaries to students attending post-secondary education in the fall and another three $250 bursaries to students specifically attending Loyalist College.

For more information about the fund, visit