Chemainus Health Care auxiliary contributes $100,000 to Hospice House project

Commitment for two more years will being the total to $300,000

‘Tis the season for giving.

Actually, the giving never stops for the Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary, no matter what the time of year.

But on Saturday, Nov. 25, exactly one month before Christmas, the Auxiliary presented Cowichan Hospice with the first $100,000 installment of a three-year commitment to help fund a Hospice House facility for the Cowichan Valley to be located at Cairnsmore Place in Duncan.

The cheque was delivered to Hospice representatives Christa Fox and Gretchen Hartley during the Auxiliary’s annual Christmas luncheon and installation of officers at the Chemainus 55+ Activity Centre. Joan Kerr, Susan Beaubier, Nancy Southern and Donna McCasky made the presentation to Hospice on behalf of the Auxiliary.

“We are absolutely delighted,” said Fox, chair of the Hospice House Task Force. “You have really opened your heart for hospice.

“To pledge for another two years to follow up on this $100,000 is absolutely amazing. You are setting the standard for other organizations to follow through on this.”

“Thank you for all your hard work that goes into these amazing gifts,” said Hospice executive director Hartley.

Island Health has approved taking the next steps in the construction of a hospice facility, with an eye toward opening by the spring of 2020.

“A hospice is a community project and we’re so grateful,” added Fox. “We are now really in partnership with Island Health.”

“The idea is the community will fund it and Island Health will pay the operational,” noted Beaubier.

Hospice House Task Force members and Island Heath staff have completed the development of a functional program and are moving into the architectural stage. “This is now actually going to happen,” enthused Fox.

The facility will be designed to accommodate up to 10 beds, but with seven initially.

“We’re building for the future by building 10 beds,” noted Hartley.

The hospice bed at the Chemainus Health Care Centre will also be maintained.

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