Stark Family Fund 2024 Announcement

May 3, 2024 | Featured, Foundation News/Updates, Front Page 3, Grants - Stark Family Fund, Media Releases

Fall 2021 Community Grants Small

Over $60,000 to be granted by CFKA to community initiatives at 10 County area organizations

The Stark Family Fund, held within The Community Foundation for Kingston and Area, will be granting $63,072 to support 10 initiatives by local charitable community service organizations in the Prince Edward County area, projected to directly impact 48,784 individuals, including 8,154 youth.

“As we mark the 20th year of granting from The Stark Family Fund, we are so very pleased to be able to support these diverse and impactful projects that will enhance the community health, resilience, and vibrancy of Prince Edward County”, says Stacy Kelly, CFKA’s executive director. “Our special thanks to the team of County-based volunteer reviewers who greatly assisted CFKA by playing an integral role in assessing the grants applications”.

The Stark Family Fund program provides grants each year to support innovative projects undertaken by charitable organizations in Prince Edward County. Funding for this program is made possible through the bequests of the Stark sisters established at the Foundation to support their fields of interests: education, health, social services, animal welfare, and culture in Prince Edward County. The Fund grants once per year in the Spring.

A full list of the 10 funded projects can be found below:


Stark Family Fund 2024 Recipients:

  • Baxter Arts Centre, “Skill Building Programs for School Aged Children in Prince Edward County”
  • Brain Injury Association Quinte District, “Fidget Quilts for Residents with Alzheimer’s and Dementia”
  • County of Prince Edward Public Library & Archives, “Get Active at the Library”
  • Humane Society Hastings Prince Edward, “HSHPE Spay Neuter Clinic for Low Income Pet Owners”
  • Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation, “Direct Patient Care Equipment for Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital”
  • Quintissimo El Sistema Quinte Region Inc., “Quintissimo’s Free After School Music Program”
  • Reaching for Rainbows, “Reaching for Rainbows program”
  • The Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association, “Supporting Seniors into the Future”
  • theROC Youth Services, “Get Grounded Mental Wellbeing Project”
  • Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation, “Stop the Bleeding”

        Animal Welfare (1 recipient)

        Humane Society Hastings Prince Edward

        HSHPE Spay Neuter Clinic for Low Income Pet Owners



        The Humane Society Hastings Prince Edward believes in the inherent strength of the animal/human bond. Pets help to ease anxiety, boost-confidence, encourage exercise, offer unconditional love and lessen feelings of isolation by providing companionship. With these objectives in mind, and with the economic down-turn in the past several years, many households are stressed with being unable to provide appropriate veterinary care for their household pets. Reducing the number of off-spring through spay and neuter procedures lowers not only the cost of veterinary care, but also expenses for food, litter, and other animal-care costs. Last year, the HSHPE spayed and neutered 532 cats in our care before sending them along to their ‘forever homes’. Our 2023 Spay Neuter Clinic for Low Income Pet Owners sold out of dog surgeries in just 2 days and cat surgeries were filled shortly thereafter.


        480 Individuals (including 230 Youth)



        Arts & Culture (1 recipient)

        Baxter Arts Centre

        Skill Building Programs for School Aged Children in Prince Edward County



        Many children and youth programs offered by the Baxter Arts Centre are scheduled to run when schools are out, including on Professional Activity days. While the Baxter Arts Centre is not daycare, the families in Prince Edward County know that it is a safe place for their children to learn. We routinely survey our parents and always have an open-door policy for the expression of new program ideas. 2023 saw the piloting of 3 new skill building programs targeted to children aged 4-13, covering a wide spectrum of skills, and we hope to pilot another program in 2024: “Aerial Arts.” While new, it is also an extension of our very popular Circus Camp, run in summers, where children explore circus arts, including juggling, acrobatics, clowning, and more. We hope to offer this program year-round and funding will be used to secure equipment rather than renting as needed. We strive to keep registration fees affordable for the families of Prince Edward County and are seeking funding to help offset the cost of these valuable programs.


        125 Individuals (including 55 Youth)



        Community Development (2 recipients)

        Brain Injury Association Quinte District

        Fidget Quilts for Residents with Alzheimer’s and Dementia



        This program will aid in the rehabilitation of individuals living with Acquired Brain Injury by promoting creativity, improving fine and gross motor skills, and improving social skills.  The quilts that are made by members of the BIAQD art group will then be donated to the residents of nursing homes located within PEC that are living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.  The nursing homes have all indicated that their residents would benefit from these quilts and would request approximately 30 per home to start, and would require approximately 300 over a three year span. People living with Alzheimer’s and dementia typically experience gradual decreases in brain function, and simple, repetitive movements, and sensory stimulation becomes important to reduce behaviours associated with dementia. As the disease progresses, peoples’ hands become more nervous and fidgety, as they continually search for something to occupy them. Fidget quilts fulfill this pursuit, and provide senses of comfort through the hands and eyes. They also entertain people with dementia and Alzheimer’s and can lift their spirits. 


        500 Individuals


        Reaching for Rainbows

        Reaching for Rainbows Program



        Despite our region’s strong tourism and hospitality sectors, Prince Edward County has greater inequality in adjusted household after-tax income than either Ontario or Canada. This has the greatest impact on children and vulnerable populations: • ~11% of children are members of low-income families; • 37% of preschoolers are vulnerable in one or more domains of early development, compared to their Ontario peers at about 30%; • Children in low socioeconomic communities are almost 2X as likely to be behind in early development skills as high socioeconomic status peers; • High school graduation rates are ~10% lower than the provincial average; • Childhood educators indicate that girls’ confidence drops by 30% starting at age eight.

        The 2010 Vital Signs Report Produced by the County Foundation catalyzed the creation of Reaching for Rainbows in conjunction with reports from local schools and support organizations in Prince Edward County. In the 2022 report, the statistics reflect that 1 out of every 4 preschoolers in PEC demonstrated a vulnerability in one or more of the domains of early development, physical health and well-being. Each year as we welcome our new girls, we see these statistics reflected in their lives. The issues and challenges that affect social competency, emotional maturity, language and thinking skills, communication and knowledge inform their development as they progress through school and life. By the time they are eligible for our program the areas where our programming and support will be most effective are evident. 


        70 Individuals (including 30 Youth)



        Education (2 recipients)

        County of Prince Edward Public Library & Archives

        Get Active at the Library



        This project will offer physical activity programs – at no charge – that welcome everyone. The Vital Signs Report put together by the County Foundation identifies several groups facing barriers to inclusion including youth, persons living with disabilities and people living on low income.   This project will specifically invite members of these groups to join. Additionally, the Social Determinants of Health report as prepared by Hastings and Prince Edward Counties identifies that 34-44% of children in Prince Edward County are vulnerable in the Early Development Instrument areas of physical health, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive development and communication skills.  Physical activity programs can encompass skills development in each of these areas. Young children need an outlet for their energy. Having the opportunity to expend energy and play in an active way before sitting for a storytime will help tremendously. Additionally, if the room is equipped with resources most children do not have at home, it will become an attraction to families who may not have yet visited the library and introduce these children to the world of lifelong learning. Recognizing that many children and youth are left out of costly recreation programs, the library will help bridge the gap and ensure everyone has access to active play.


        150 Individuals (including 150 Youth)


        Quintissimo El Sistema Quinte Region Inc.

        Quintissimo’s Free After School Music Program



        Quintissimo’s after school music program is a unique asset that addresses multiple needs and challenges for the PEC community. Local needs were assessed through analysis from Vital Signs Report (VSR), THRIVE, Strategic Goals of Council (SGC) and the Parents & Primary Caregiver Survey.  In a region where access to childcare, early childhood development, and educational resources are limited, Quintissimo is a catalyst for positive social change. Funds will be used to supply our program with the necessary instruments as our programs expand, including: renting 8 Yamaha 200 series student model flutes for returning flute students from the 2023-2024 school year, purchasing 10 Nuvo JFlutes (and upgrade kits) for an additional 10 flutes between Grades 1-2 for the 2024-2025 school year, and renting 8 fractional sized cellos for students returning to the program from the 2023-2024 school year. Each student participating in the program is guaranteed continuous access to an instrument for the duration of the school year.


        440 Individuals (including 140 Youth)



        Health & Social Science (4 recipients)

        Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation

        Direct Patient Care Equipment for Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital



        PECMH is a primary care hospital; patients with emergency, complex, or serious health issues are stabilized here before being transported to a larger centre. As part of Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation’s continued effort to offer the very best standard of health care to the patients at PECMH, a new MX500 monitor is required.  An MX500 monitor is critical to caring for patients experiencing cardiac symptoms and respiratory concerns in our hospital’s Emergency Department. Having this equipment will help ensure PECMH’s Emergency Department remains equipped with lifesaving equipment in Prince Edward County. Equipment needs for the hospital are compiled each year, and each item is rated based on whether it is critical/essential/important for patient care, and how damaging failure would be to a patient or to the ability to provide services. The MX500 monitor has been identified as critical.


        44,735 Individuals (including 6,549 Youth)


        The Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association

        Supporting Seniors into the Future



        Food insecurity is a big issue in Prince Edward County as identified by The County Foundation in the Vital Signs report.  Good nutrition with the added bonus of a reassurance check is available when seniors participate in Meals on Wheels. 2024 marks 44 years that Community Care has operated the hot and frozen Meals on Wheels program in Prince Edward County.  Our amazing volunteers deliver nutritious meals, short and friendly visits, and safety checks that enable seniors to live nourished lives in their own homes with independence and dignity. In 2002 Community Care added to the hot meal program and began free delivery of frozen Meals on Wheels. The agency currently has 154 active MOW clients receiving over 6,500 frozen meals each year. A commercial freezer is needed to maintain and expand capacity. As well, the Ministry of Health has funded Quinte Health for a “Lower Limb Preservation Project” (LLP) of which Prince Edward Community Care is a partner because of our foot care program.  Community Care has over 800 foot care clients and 9 well-qualified foot care nurses.  Clients see a nurse every 6 weeks at one of 3 clinic locations in The County — Picton, Wellington & Rossmore.  With the launch of the LLP project, our nurses have received training on a special screener that results in early identification of complications of diabetes. These clients are then referred to their primary care physician, the Family Health Team and, when needed, to a vascular specialist for preventative treatment.  With over 800 clients visiting every 6 weeks, our current debriding machines receive heavy use and are often down for maintenance. Having 2 more machines will mean we can deploy them when there’s a breakdown and we will be ready should a current unit wear out. In this way there won’t be any interruption to this vital service for seniors.


        2,154 Individuals


        theROC Youth Services

        Get Grounded Mental Wellbeing Project



        Approximately 1 in 5 children and youth in Ontario have a mental health challenge. 39% of Ontario high-school students indicate a moderate-to-serious level of psychological distress (symptoms of anxiety and depression); PEC OPP have seen a 17% increase in mental health act incidents in 2021; and Vital Signs 2022 indicated a decreased percentage (<61%) of Canadians reporting very good or excellent mental health (12-17 years). There has been a significant increase in local youth anxiety and mental distress over the past few years resulting in: academic disengagement, challenging peer relationships, self-isolation, self-harm, increased trouble with the law, and a lack of emotional regulation. This need has been assessed by theROC Youth Services through extensive conversations with the Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board Administrators, Child & Youth Workers, and Social Workers,  Educators, and parents, as well as through theROC’s front-line staff experience, making it evident that further supports are needed for grade 8 youth as they prepare to transition into high school. Preventative intervention through the Get Grounded Project supports youth in understanding how to navigate indicators of stress, encourage and increase protective factors, and learn healthy behaviours.


        1,100 Individuals (including 600 Youth)


        Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation

        Stop the Bleeding



        There are patients throughout the region that require upper limb surgeries for carpal tunnel, trigger finger, and de Quervain’s. These are done at the outpatient clinic at Trenton Memorial Hospital under local anesthetic. Patients walk out after a 20-minute procedure (start to finish) with basic pain medication. Tourniquet use is a common practice in orthopedic surgery to stop blood flow to the limbs. This creates a bloodless surgical field which provides for improved patient safety, better precision and visibility of the site and greater efficiency for the surgeon while also decreasing the perioperative blood loss. Once the procedure is complete, they are stitched up and the tourniquet is deflated, and regular blood flow is established. Two orthopaedic surgeons, Dr. Birchard and Dr. Steinitz, identified the need for the tourniquet and Stark Family Fund grant funding will be used for the purchase of a Tourniquet for the Surgical department at Trenton Memorial Hospital. This will see a reduction in surgical errors (as a result of poor visibility of the surgical site), resulting in a quicker recovery time as well as less wait time for procedures.


        2,625 Individuals (including 530 Youth)


        Community Foundation for Kingston & Area