Curl-a-thon raises over $51k to Back the Build

Pictured on the site of the new hospital from left: Briar Boyce, senior development officer with PECMHF; Pam Piercey, curling club; Joanne Tammel, curling club; Barbara McConnell, chairperson of the PECMHF; Ron Stakes, curling club; Tom Dmytar, curling club; Brian Eden, curling club; Sue Locke, curling club; Lana Whitteker, curling club; Sherry Tait, director on the PECMHF Board and Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation.(Photo Abi Sampson)

They rocked the house for a good cause.

Representatives from the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation (PECMHF) were swept off their feet Tuesday when members from the Prince Edward Curling Club presented $51,103.90 that will Back the Build for a new hospital in Prince Edward County (PEC).

The curling club hosted a 24-hour curl-a-thon that began on Saturday, March 18 at 12 noon and ended on Sunday, March 19 at 12 noon. Ninety-six curlers took to the ice, eight players at a time, in two hour blocks around the clock to raise funds for the new hospital campaign. Each participant was asked to raise a minimum of $100 in pledges for the cause.

The Curl-A-Thon brought together new and experienced curlers from the community to support the hospital foundation through this inaugural event.

“The committee had the idea to host an event to support Back the Build. When we presented it to the membership, it was received favourably as a fun way to raise funds for the new build and beat the winter blues,” said Ron Stakes on behalf of the Prince Edward Curling Club. “What we didn’t expect was the outpouring of support we received from so many people and local businesses when curlers and volunteers went into the community asking for support.”

While curlers asked for gifts of cash from their family and friends, the local business community came through with donations of food, items for the silent auction and cash donations to support the fundraising endeavours. The curling club donated the ice time and food, provided equipment, instruction and volunteers to help organize the event, but the generosity of the entire community helped maximize the proceeds for the foundation.

PECMHF Board Chairperson, Barbara McConnell, threw the first ceremonial rock to kick-off the event.

“Because of community initiatives and events like the curl-a-thon, the foundation is able to invest in lifesaving medical equipment that will be used in our new hospital. One of the great benefits of having a modern hospital in The County is we can find new ways of enhancing patient care, such as being able to offer expanded services like access to a CT Scanner. We owe a big thank you to everyone who came out, including many who have never thrown a curling rock before. The funds received from this event will ensure patients who visit our new hospital receive the best care that technology, and compassion have to offer in Prince Edward County,” she said.

“We set out with a goal to raise between $10,000 and $15,000 for Back the Build. We are blown away to have raised over $51,000! We are indebted to so many people and businesses who, stone by stone, made this event such as success,” said Stakes.

Each year, the foundation is fortunate to receive many inquiries from groups, businesses, and individuals wishing to organize third party events in support of the hospital. The foundation is grateful to have been named the beneficiary of this inaugural event.

“The way this community steps up to support this campaign never ceases to amaze me…even if it’s at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning,” said Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation. “The organizers, volunteers, sponsors, and participants of the curl-a-thon have infused a level of renewed energy into our campaign. We can’t wait to show everyone in The County that, because of their support, we are not only building a new hospital, we are building a great hospital, potentially the first of its kind in North America. This weekend was truly magical.”

Those who have donated to help Back the Build are touching everyone in this community.

“It’s inspiring to see the community come together in support of a new Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital. This contribution from the curling club will have a significant impact on how health care is delivered in our community for years to come and will motivate others to help Back the Build. We are extremely grateful for this outpouring of generosity,” said Nancy Parks, Back the Build campaign chairperson.

In recognition of their efforts, a room in the inpatient unit in the new hospital will be named in honour of the Prince Edward Curling Club.

The curling club is planning for a second annual curl-a-thon to take place in 2024. For more information on the curling club, visit

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to raising funds to advance health care for the patients of the hospital and the people of Prince Edward County.