Back Row: Becky Osborne Hospice, JoDell Rodgers Hospice, Shirley Smith Committee, Holly Burton Committee, Denise Carder Committee, Patty Emick Committee, Kinley Emick Committee. Seated: Sabre Reinhart Committee, Deb Pelley, Rose Ann Yates Committee.
Not Pictured: Linda Thompson, Mike Marinac, Robbie Sue Young, Lisa Carder, Natasha Morris, Cheryl Preisser, Megan Grett and Lisa McCullough.
The Lamar Area Hospice received a timely holiday gift of $41,000 this week, a donation made by the committee organizers of the annual summer ‘Backyard Bash’ and the Angel Open Golf Tournament.
The two events have helped fund local hospice activities for a number of years. The presentation was made to Hospice Executive Director Deb Pelley at the hospice headquarters on West Olive Street in Lamar this past Monday evening, December 19th. This year’s donation surpassed last year’s by $10,000.
Rose Ann Yates said the difference was derived from sold sponsorships, “And the response was fantastic.”
Pelley said the donations will be used for operating funds, “It literally takes care of patients, paid staff, buys meds. It’s how we operate.” She said this will help fill financial gaps created by various national health care guidelines. “We are one of the few rural hospices that are surviving right now and I attribute that to our fundraising committee.” She explained that some hospice groups are either merging or shutting their doors. “We are able to continue without watering down our service. We don’t have to do that and one of the reasons is this fundraising committee. There is no one else on the planet like them.”
Pelley added that 2016 was a good year for contributions and they were greatly needed. “This past year, we received $81,000 in donations. Last January we were really concerned because we saw our reimbursements cuts and the effects it would have on us. The regulations were so laborious on the staff that it was also a financial challenge to get through the first three months of the year.” She said at around that point, some donations started to come in which made all the difference to the organization. “With no exaggeration, we were able to continue to do business as usual because of this committee.”
Asked if there would be any more donations expected, Pelley replied, “December is a good month for us with local, private donations from individuals, especially because of this check. January, February and March are hard months and usually have me worrying.”
Committee member, Sabre Reinhart, said in lieu Christmas gifts, the adults in her family are using the cash they’d normally spend on gifts and are donating that to Hospice. “We’re all older and don’t need so much stuff, so we agreed to do this instead and help out locally.” One other member said there was a group of teachers from Holly who also follow that practice.
One event, the Buzzard’s Roost Pirate Party, began a couple of years ago in February. No specific date was mentioned yet for the dress-up event in 2017, but last year’s raised $9,000 for one evening of entertainment.
By Russ Baldwin
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