The Murray River Ceilidhs began in 2000 when Garnet Buell recruited a small group of volunteers, following a meeting
which he held with Wendell Ellis and Island Cable Vision to discuss the possibilities of raising funds for the hospital’s
21-hour equipment drive, which later became the QEH/Eastlink Telethon. Ellis encouraged Garnet to start holding annual ceilidhs,
which have continued every year since, raising a total of $386,100 to date. In 2016, we surpassed our goal to raise another $10,000
and were pleased to wrap up our 2016 campaign with just over $20,000.
Over the years, Garnet and his fellow volunteers have held annual campaigns that include volunteer talent from across the Island,
and some from off Island who entertain guests to raise funds to help to purchase equipment for the Island’s main hospital.
Volunteers have retired, but others have picked up the baton to help to carry on. Some of the original committee members are
still working closely with Garnet to ensure the ongoing success of this campaign. Our kitchen volunteers are Myrna MacPherson,
Carol Allen and June Sencabough; Mary MacQueen Elliott, our Treasurer, who also takes care of all Marketing and Promotion, and
other tasks as needed; Eva and George Demeulenaere who have for many years raised large amounts of funds through ticket sales for
a beautiful Gift basket; Sandra Stephens, who has also sold tickets for her beautiful hand crocheted afghans; Marvin and Alba MacLeod
who have worked with Garnet and Mary as the MCs, assisting with hall decorations, and at the door, etc; Chris Martin, Marie Martin,
Kay Kennedy, Donalda Ross and Jocelyn Jenkins who have for a number of years made home made fudge and sold hundreds of bags full of
fudge week after week; lastly, Gwen Munn and her late father Ivan Munn who started and continues to administer our web site, and to
her family business, Cancodia Solutions Inc. located in Richmond, Ontario. Many of the above volunteers will once again be a part
of this year’s campaign. (In the past three years, Marvin and Alba MacLeod and Sandra Stephens have retired.)
Many other individuals have also helped by bringing gifts for the silent and live auction, food towards the lunch, assist to sell
tickets, and so much more. Above all, we recognize and give thanks to our wonderful donors, who support this project year after year.
Without each of these individuals and businesses, the annual campaign would not be the success story that it has become.