Giving back
The Dundas Farmers Charity Gala Committee presents the Dundas County Hospice with a donation on Wed., May 3, to help build the new accessibility ramp for the front of the building. From left, Contractor Gary Whitford, Gala Committee member and Dundas County Cattlemen’s Association representative Rose Stewart, Hospice Board Chair Paul Renaud, Gala Committee Chair Jacqueline Kelly-Pemberton and Dundas Federation of Agriculture President Steve Byvelds.                                      Sawyer Helmer photo

Kalynn Sawyer Helmer
Record Staff
WILLIAMSBURG – On March 25, the Dundas Farmers Charity Gala held their 2017 event, “An Evening of Recognition.” Along with inducting five community leaders into the Dundas Agricultural Hall of Fame, the Gala raised $12,000 worth of donations. The funds were raised through the evening’s silent and live auctions as well as in-kind community donations.

On Wed., May 3, Jacqueline Kelly-Pemberton, Chair of the Dundas Farmers Gala Committee, started the day at the Dundas County Hospice in Williamsburg. After a brief tour of the house, Kelly-Pemberton was pleased to present the hospice with a check for $8,000.

The money will go towards building a new accessibility ramp for the front entrance of the house. The ramp will be similar to the one at the back of the house, built last year from the donations of the Gala. Building the ramp is local contractor Gary Whitford of Whitford Construction, located in Ingleside. Whitford was approached by the Gala in 2016 to build the first ramp. He eagerly obliged, adding, “We live in this township and we want to help in whatever way we can.” Whitford said the project takes approximately two weeks to build with the help of his five guys. He is hoping to have the project underway by early June.

Kelly-Pemberton said, “The Gala’s donation will fund 80 per cent of the quoted project costs.” The in-kind donations for the materials were provided by local lumber companies; Blacks Lumber, Lannin Home Building Centre, Morrisburg Building Centre, Winchester BMR and Cedar View Builders Supply Ltd.

Paul Renaud, Chair of the Hospice Board of Directors, was brimming with pride while receiving the donation. He said, “Without this kind of community support, the hospice would have a hard time staying afloat.” He continued to thank the Gala Board of Directors, Committee members and community for their donations and continued support.

Alongside Kelly-Pemberton at the cheque presentation were Gala Committee members Rose Stewart, representing Dundas County Cattlemen’s Association, and Steven Byvelds, current President of the Dundas Federation of Agriculture. Kelly-Pemberton was eager to recognize Stewart as an integral part of organizing the Gala. Stewart’s own mother was aided by the hospice in her time of need and Stewart said this was one of the ways she could show her thanks and repay them.

Later in the day, Kelly-Pemberton headed over to Winchester to the Community Food Share to present Chairman Terry Triskle with a cheque for the remaining $5,000 from the Gala. A portion of the donation will allow the Food Share to pay off the much-needed new furnace for the facility without having to dip into the food budget. Kelly-Pemberton said, “The remainder of the donations will go towards the Community Food Share Program.”

The Dundas Farmers Gala Committee is made up of local agricultural associations. These include; Dundas Federation of Agriculture, Dundas Junior Farmers, Dundas County Cattlemen’s Association, Dundas 4-H and Dundas Dairy Producers.