Parrott Foundation bolsters Back the Build with $750,000 donation

Pictured at the Back the Build fundraising thermometer Friday from left: Monica Alyea, director on the PECMHF Board; Stacey Daub, president and CEO of Quinte Health Care; Barbara McConnell, chairperson of the PECMH Foundation; Leo Finnegan, director on the PECMHF board; Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation; Lyle Vanclief, president of the John M. and Bernice Parrott Foundation; Linda Gray and Donna Gowthorpe, directors on the John M. and Bernice Parrott Foundation Board and Nancy Parks, Back the Build Campaign Co-Chair. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette staff)




The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation (PECMHF) board and members of the Back the Build campaign cabinet graciously accepted a grant totaling $750,000 from the John M. and Bernice Parrott Foundation on Friday.

The Parrott Foundation’s grant helped the PECMH Foundation reach a $15.7M milestone towards its $16.5M goal. Foundation representatives and members of the Campaign Cabinet gathered with Lyle Vanclief, Linda Gray and Donna Gowthorpe from the Parrott Foundation to update the fundraising thermometre on the hospital that reflects the fundraising milestone.

“We’re here to announce and celebrate a major gift that has helped us reach a significant milestone in our new hospital campaign,” expressed Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMHF. “Building a new hospital is extremely involved and dynamic, there are so many moving parts that are all necessary so the project continues to move forward. Ever time our community learns something new is another step towards the hospitals completion. The community’s confidence and continued support in this project is critical to ensuring our new hospital becomes a reality. This incredible gift from the Parrott Foundation is very appreciated, especially during these challenging times. Not only will it help us to maintain momentum with our fundraising, it also helps to make us feel connected to our donor family. This gift will have a significant impact on how health care is delivered in our community for years to come, and will help motivate others to Back the Build. We’re extremely grateful for your leadership in our community and for your philanthropic mission to advance the quality of life across the entire Quinte Region.”

Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMHF. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette staff)

Founded in 1977, the Parrott Foundation supports organizations across the Quinte region. Jack and Bernice Parrott had deep roots in the Belleville community for many years. They spent their time growing crops and tending to a herd of Holstein cattle. Eventually, the couple developed their farm land, turning it into subdivisions in the east end of Belleville. Their gift to the new hospital campaign will mean their family name will adorn the family suite inside the new PECMH.

“The unwritten mandate the board follows for the dispersement each year on behalf of The Parrott Foundation is one to include the quality of life of people in the Quinte area, and that can be in many, many ways,” Lyle Vanclief, president of the John M. and Bernice Parrott Foundation stated. “One way is for better health care, it can be cultural, it can be recreational, it can be supporting projects for an individual organization. In response to applications from Quinte Health Care, the board on behalf of the Parrott Foundation has made a number of contributions to QHC for the benefit of health care workers and patients at all four sites Belleville, Trenton, Picton and Bancroft. The application we responded to outside of that type of contribution was the one to support the new build here in Picton which has been a goal for many people. The Board is so proud and happy to make the $750,000 contribution on behalf of John and Bernice Parrott.”

The Parrotts were known to be generous during their lifetimes, and their philanthropy has achieved so much throughout the region through the Foundation. They have helped countless organizations succeed and have made great strides towards making the Quinte community a better place to live.

“Today is an extremely heart warming and special occasion for us all,” said Nancy Parks, Back the Build campaign co-chair. “In recognition of this wonderful gift and as a gesture of our appreciation the foundation is please to name the family suite in honor of the Parrott Foundation’s gift. This space in our new hospital will play a significant role in helping patients and their families. This donation not only helps support the success of the fundraising effort to help the PECMHF achieve its goal to get its new hospital built, but it carries on an important legacy. The name of the family suite is the part of the impatient unit and it’s a wonderful way to honor the memory of John and Bernice Parrott.”

The John M. and Bernice Parrott Foundation Family Suite will be a very special and unique space as it’s the only area in the new hospital that will offer respite to families who are spending time with a loved one who is seriously ill. This suite, which will be located in the inpatient unit will be fully furnished with a bedroom, shower and sitting area.

QHC PECMH’s Patient Care Lead, Janice Deal, RN, shared how important it is to the patients to have their family members close by during a hospital stay.

“Families of patients want to be close to their loved ones, but also need a place to rest, eat, shower and decompress,”  Deal said. “Having access to the family suite relieves the difficulty of having to find or pay for a place to stay if a patient’s family comes from out of town. The family suite is a private place for families to gather, reminisce on memories and connect as a family during a very difficult time.”

This suite will be a place for family members to have privacy while staying on-site and remaining close to their loved one while they are cared for in the hospital.

“Back in 2005, our family utilized that space and it was overwhelmingly appreciated & helpful to have a spot to gather as a family,”said Lisa Mowbray, manager of patient services at QHC PECMH. “To be able to support one another, take shifts in being with our loved one.  It was a space you felt safe, you could cry, share stories and the fond memories we cherish today.   Whether your family is large or small, having that space to allow people to come together, get away for a small break but not be far when the end arrives, is truly a gracious gift.”

With the Parrott Foundation grant, the Back the Build campaign has $800,000 left to raise toward its campaign goal of $16.5M.

For more information on the PECMHF or to donate to the Back the Build please visit