The 2018 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM 2018) has given more than $80,000 to local charities, service clubs and not-for-profit organizations across Chatham-Kent.

The presentation ceremony, called Filling the Furrow – IPM 2018 Donation Night, was held Thursday evening at the banquet hall of the Ken Houston Memorial Agricultural Centre in Dresden.

Overall, 115 cheques were presented.

The money is the first round of funds generated by the highly successful IPM 2018 that was hosted last September near Pain Court by the Ontario Plowmen’s Association and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent with a Chatham-Kent citizens’ Executive Committee.

When combined with the work of local service club members at IPM 2018, the value of donations to the community rises to more than $105,000.

In addition, members of about 50 IPM 2018 community committees and 1,000 volunteers donated their time and efforts to make IPM 2018 a success.

The Ontario Mutual Insurance Association, BMO Bank of Montreal and Hydro One were presenting partners, and many community sponsors also supported the Plowing Match.

From September 18 to 22, more than 70,000 visitors enjoyed the results – plowing competitions, a wide range of cultural performances, and agriculture, business and tourism displays.

The 2018 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo cost Chatham-Kent taxpayers nothing for municipal services such as police, fire, EMS and water. These services were paid for by the local Match.

“We were pleased to pay off the loan the municipality had given us event before the event,” says IPM 2018 Co-Chair Darrin Canniff, “and we paid for any extra services at no extra cost to Chatham-Kent taxpayers.”

“IPM 2018 brought our community together to showcase Chatham-Kent to the world,” says Leon Leclair, IPM 2018 Co-Chair. “This was done with the commitment and hard work of so many people, and it is very satisfying to be able to recognize that spirit with these donations to non-profit organizations. These funds will help their ongoing work in the community.”

For more information, visit www.plowingmatch.org/ipm2018.

Here are some submitted photos from the event:

Lucille and Jean Marie Laprise, seen here with IPM 2018 mascot Tobe Cobe Jr., lent the community their farmland for the IPM 2018 event.
Lucille and Jean Marie Laprise, seen here with IPM 2018 mascot Tobe Cobe Jr., lent the community their farmland for the IPM 2018 event.
St. Michael’s Church and Knights of Columbus were among the 70 Chatham-Kent non-profit groups that received a donation – LtoR Gerald Demers, Francis Allaert, Don Laprise, and Lucille Laprise, along with mascot Tobe Cobe Jr. and IPM 2018 Co-chair Leon Leclair.
Chatham-Kent is all about farming and the CK 4-H Association received a donation – LtoR Stephanie Campbell, Janet Campbell, Hanna Reid, Margaret Gough, Laureen McKerrall, Alicia Van Esse, Kyler Van Esse, IPM 2018 mascot Tobe Cobe Jr. and IPM 2018 Co-chair Leon Leclair, and Tracy Henry.