IPM hands out $385K to charity groups, SD&G hospitals

Volunteers, directors and dignitaries gather at the Finch Community Center Saturday, June 19, 2016 for the 2015 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo Volunteer Appreciation Day. The IPM in September 2015 raised enough money to give out $385,000 to local hospitals, groups and service clubs. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

FINCH – The three hospitals serving the United Counties have each received $100,000 from the legacy fund from last year’s International Plowing Match.

“This was a milestone in my life,” IPM chairman Jim Brownell told Cornwall Newswatch shortly after the 2015 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo Volunteer Appreciation Day.

“Number one, to chair an International Plowing Match and to have it so successful that we were able to give out $385,000 today. That’s amazing. And there were times when I had goosebumps up there (on stage) thinking of how exciting it was to do that very thing,” Brownell said.

This was the third SD&G International Plowing Match. The area hosted the event in 1936 and 1958.

The plowing match from Sept. 22-25, 2015 raised $870,000. It was split between the Ontario Plowman’s Association ($385,000) and the Legacy Fund Recipients ($385,000).

Another $100,000 of that total was the repayment of the United Counties seed money. “Most people would know that the counties gave us seed money but I don’t think a whole lot of people know we paid back that seed money in appreciation for what they did to give us that boost at the very beginning that we needed,” Brownell said.

Volunteers and directors took the stage at the Finch Community Center to receive cheques of $250, $500 and $1,000, which is going to the organization of their choice.

You can read the entire list of recipients and their charities here.

Then, Brownell presented the large donations – $100,000 each for the Winchester and District Memorial Hospital Foundation, the Cornwall Hospital Foundation and the Glengarry Memorial Hospital Foundation.

The hospitals received $90,000 today (Saturday) and the balance ($10,000) will be transferred to them once the accounting for the IPM is complete in the fall.

While the IPM committee hasn’t given Winchester its directive on how to spend the money, Cornwall will be spending it on the mental health and addiction center and Alexandria will put it toward intravenous (IV) pumps.

“We know the event was a lot of hard work so this money represents a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” Cornwall Hospital Foundation chairman Dale McSween told the audience.

“A lot of local businesses and everybody benefit from that (economic spinoff) but this is really an extension of that benefit and I just am so thrilled to be receiving this,” Glengarry Memorial Hospital Foundation chairman Barry MacDonald said. He said the money will cover the recently started campaign to replace the IV pumps that are outdated and difficult, if not impossible, to repair. “This is true legacy money,” he said.

There will also be service groups and not-for-profit groups receiving the balance of the legacy fund for helping out during the IPM.

The event also included an auction of IPM memorabilia with Chad Simmons of Finch, who competed in the IPM Auctioneer Challenge, doing the honours.

Jim Brownell said the event could have done as well as it did without very successful teamwork. “A great team to build it and they (the crowds) came. You couldn’t ask for more and Mother Nature held out for us, big time,” Brownell said.

Click on an image below to see pictures of the donations to the hospitals.