Harvesting Kindness for Hospice
Nearly 300 generous supporters from the Southbury and Woodbury communities gathered together in honor of Regional Hospice at the 2016 Harvest Luncheon. Set against the beautiful backdrop of autumn’s changing leaves visible through the walls of windows at The Waterview, the annual luncheon raised funds and awareness for the hospice care and bereavement services the organization provides throughout Connecticut.
Hospice Filled with Hope
Regional Hospice’s President & CEO, Cynthia Emiry Roy shared the latest updates on the organization’s growth into New Haven County, and detailed the breadth of the hospice and palliative care provided by our dedicated clinicians and volunteers. She explained that as an independent, nonprofit organization we are not supported by any one hospital. Instead, we receive referrals from numerous physicians and health facilities. Regional provides its hospice and palliative care expertise to patients in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, or directly in a patient’s home. Additionally, the one-of-a-kind Center for Comfort Care & Healing is a best practice model which is filled with, “hope and energy, love and compassion – and a lot of joy.” Roy went on to explain that the Center has hosted many happy events including a child’s birthday party and a wedding, both organized to honor the final wishes of dying patients and their families.
Volunteers Make it Possible
Roy emphasized that such compassionate care is possible due to the “time, talent and advocacy” of the supporters in the room. Some of the supporters present, a group of very devoted Giving Circle members, sat outside a Southbury grocery store over the course of 2 blazingly hot summer weekends in order to raise funds so that a family of 7 could enjoy a vacation together before their young child passed away. It was just one of many stories shared exemplifying how, as Mary Beth Hickey, Volunteer Director for Regional Hospice later stated, “Your money makes a difference. Your time makes a difference.”
Alleviating Pain and Suffering
Hickey spoke about the tremendous value that volunteers bring to hospice patients and their family members. Declaring, “I have the best job in the world!” further noting that her, “world is full of kindness” due to the time she spends with Regional Hospice volunteers. One attendee later remarked that you could “hear the smile in your [Hickey’s] words.” A fact that was evident as Mary Beth graciously praised the many amazing volunteers she is fortunate enough to work with. Volunteers, who, like the supporters in the room, “are supporting a mission of alleviating pain and suffering at end of life.”
Thank you to everyone in attendance for making the day so special including Geri Travis, who served as Master of Ceremonies; Rev. Joseph T. Donnelly, who gave a beautiful invocation; all of the vendors who provided a unique shopping experience for guests; and to all of the businesses and individuals who sponsored tables, placed advertisements and generously donated raffle items on our behalf.
Our endearing gratitude also goes to our hard-working Southbury/Woodbury Giving Circle Members:
Thelma Oppenheimer & Geri Travis, Co-Chairs
Ellie Crystal & Helen Fultz, Luncheon Co-Chairs
Helen Longnecker, Treasurer
Ruth Schoenfeld, Secretary