After three years of planning and fundraising, Huron Shores Hospice officially opened its second suite. Although no-one could attend the official opening in person, thanks to technology dignitaries, volunteers, donors and the public were able to attend the virtual opening and tour on Tuesday, April 13th (2021).
“The virtual opening is a community celebration of three years of planning and fundraising, with the dream of expanding quality end-of-life care in our community,” said Board Co-Chair, Cheryl Cottrill. “Today we celebrated the community’s achievement to make this happen, as we would not be opening this suite without tremendous support. Our donors, sponsors, supporters and volunteers made the opening of our second residential hospice suite a reality.”
Cottrill said that, in the past three years, the Hospice had to tell more than 20 families that the one hospice bed was full and, therefore. could not accommodate an admission. “It is heartbreaking every time we have to do this,” added Cottrill. “Our hope with the opening of the second suite is that we will never again have to say no to anyone needing our services in the community and that it will make quality end-of-life care more accessible.”
Many volunteer hours and donors and sponsors, who provided both funding and in-kind donations, provided the capital to furnish and equip the suite. “The capital to furnish and equip the suite, as well as secure two years of operational funding, was funded solely by the community,” Cottrill said.
Huron Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson said that vision and commitment can instill an amazing return on investment. “I tip my hat to co-Chairs Cheryl and Carol and all the Board. You have made a dream become a reality … Huron Shores Hospice represents the very best when it comes to partnerships … it truly is a community effort … this is an exciting day!”
Huron Shores Hospice at Tiverton Park Manor provides hospice care for three municipalities, Kincardine, Saugeen Shores and Huron-Kinloss and the surrounding area and the three Mayors offered their congratulations and appreciation.
Mayor Luke Charbonneau of Saugeen Shores joined the opening offering congratulations. “This service is indispensable and you don’t realize how much need it until you do and, then, you really do need it. That caring and compassionate end-of-life care means so much for not only those experiencing their end of the lives but also their families. This has been a difficult year in all health care settings, so we really appreciate the work of your staff and all those who made this opening possible.”
Huron-Kinloss Mayor, Mitch Twolan, in a statement added his congratulations and thanked the Hospice for all that it does for the community.
“On behalf of the Municipality of Kincardine, I want to extend our appreciation to the fundraising committee, the volunteers and all those who made the opening of this second suite possible,” said interim-Mayor Randy Roppell.
“Our top corporate sponsor Bruce Power has been unwavering in their support for the past six years,” said Cottrill as she introduced President and CEO, Mike Rencheck.
“On behalf of Bruce Power, all our suppliers and our union partners, we want to offer our congratulations. It is a fantastic achievement in a pandemic year that has been so difficult and so hard on so many people and to be able to have some positive news and positive outcome is simply fantastic,” said Rencheck. “This shows that this is a labour of love and your tenacity and hardwork in fundraising day in and day out in all that you do is always top of mind and what you focus on.|
Rencheck also recognized Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson for her unwavering support and that of Duncan and Leslie Hawthorne. “Even though Duncan has retired, they have stayed engaged and are major donors to the Hospice. It’s a great effort that they put forward and continue to help.” He also said that Bruce Power will always continue to support the Hospice. “We guarantee that we will always be here to support our communities and the residents. You (Hospice) make a difference in our communities of Bruce and Huron counties.”
Among the major sponsors and donors are Bruce Power, Duncan and Lesley Hawthorne, Southampton and Port Elgin Rotary Clubs, Tiverton Lions Club, UBC222, Mike and Carol Rencheck, Power Workers’ Union, Bruce Telecom, Tiverton Reunion Committee, Nicoll Insurance, NPX and the Society of United Professionals.
Joining the event from overseas via Zoom were Duncan and Lesley Hawthorne, the largest individual donors who, five years ago, began the fundraising effort for the Hospice.
“It’s fair to say that, when this idea of the hospice was raised, it was obvious that the community needed it and it was obvious that the people involved were going to see it through,” said Duncan Hawthorne. “I remember that Cheryl said it would take three to five years to get a second suite up and running and I know that there were difficult challenges to get that happening. In the past 18 months, more of us have seen more tragedy than any of us expected and, if there was ever a need for hospice in the community, it has been multiplied many-fold. It is very sad to see that people have not been able to spend end-of-life with loved ones and get the help needed. It’s been heart-breaking and, as Luke said, you don’t know you need it until you need it. It is a great community celebration but I never had any doubt that the community would not come through.”
Co-chair, Carol Rencheck also gave a special ‘shout-out’ to the members of UBC222. “These individuals have worked tirelessly to transform the suite into a home-way-from-home for future residents. They have donated nearly $20,000 in time and materials and have been there right from the beginning. Anytime we called, Ryan Plante said ‘just tell us what you need and we’ll get it done for you’. They have given us amazing support and we are appreciative beyond belief to them.”
Huron Shores Hospice is now looking for names for the two suites through a contest. Entries will be viewed and winners chosen by the Board and announced on May 8th. To enter visit: https://www.huronshoreshospice.ca/
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