For 11 years, Grass Roots and Cowboy Boots has been the backbone of the Prince County Hospital Foundation’s annual Vital Signs Equipment Appeal. Warren Ellis developed the event as a dinner, auction and show that grew to seat nearly 1400 guests at the Credit Union Place in recent years. Like many things, due to the pandemic, the event needed to change in 2020. This year Ellis and the PCH Foundation, in consultation with the Chief Public Health Office and Credit Union Place Staff, pivoted to create Grass Roots “Special Edition.”
As part of the ticket purchase this year, Ellis was determined to continue with the traditional meal as in previous years. In the afternoon, over 1600 meals were served to ticket purchasers in a drive-through format in the parking lot of the Credit Union Place; the most ever served in the eleven years of Grass Roots and Cowboy Boots. Certainly, the assistance of many volunteers on hand through the day helped to make it such a success.
This was followed by a smaller scale live auction held inside the Veteran’s Convention Centre at Credit Union Place. Two 50 person cohorts were invited; abiding by regulations from the Chief Public Health Office. The auction featured many items donated by PEI businesses including staycation packages and golf retreats, among many more.
Entertainment was provided by Island country artist Brooke MacArthur who was joined by Keelin Wedge and Remi Arsenault. Several major donations were presented at the auction including $12,875 from Operation Vital Signs presented by Jennifer Evans of Stingray Radio and on behalf of Confederation Bridge, as well. A gift of $22,800 was made by the PCH Auxiliary, an anonymous gift of $100,000 was presented, and many others graced the stage including a major $100,000 multi-year pledge from Scotiabank, represented by Summerside Branch Manager Georgia Ellis.
Georgia Ellis of Scotiabank Summerside,”We have such an amazing facility in the Prince County Hospital. Thank you to Warren, the committee, and his family for making this evening happen. Not only do we have an amazing facility, but the health professionals in the facility are truly amazing.”
During the evening’s festivities, Mr. Ellis received a telephone call from a donor he had been working closely with for some time. The donor confirmed their intentions to make a huge impact at PCH with an astounding and anonymous one million dollar gift! This brought the evening’s total to an incredible $1,588,925. Cumulatively, the event has raised over $9.5 million for medical equipment at the Prince County Hospital since 2009.
At approximately 9:30 pm the evening’s total and the pinnacle of the evening features the winner of the Jeep Wrangler Sport that has been donated by Mr. Ellis’ business Summerside Chrysler Dodge. This year’s winner was announced live on Facebook along with the evening’s total. Congratulations were sent out to this year’s Jeep winner, Summerside’s Dwayne McNeil.