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Hospice support grows with Creations Auction

January 31, 2014
Pierce County Tribune

The Good Samaritan Health Services Foundation held its Creations Auction for Hospice at the Rugby Eagles on Jan. 23. The event was a sell-out and featured a live auction and raffle items donated by businesses, churches and many private donors.

"The Creations Auction was a tremendously meaningful event," said Becky Hershey, hospice director. "This evening gave our community a chance to see firsthand the lives that have been impacted by the generous donations people and businesses made. It gave our hospice families a sense of the community support that's there for them in a time of personal need and loss."

It was the fifth consecutive record setting year for the event. Revenue from ticket sales, donations, raffle tickets and the live auction were 20 percent higher than last year. Proceeds were up 25 percent.

Article Photos

Tim Chapman
The 'Winter Frost' quilt donated by Gloria Grove is displayed by Paul Schaan, director of Good Samaritan Health Services Foundation, and Lyndsey Graner, Kidz Next Door daycare director.

"The growth of this event represents the importance of hospice to our communities," said Paul Schaan, foundation director. "Both the generosity of our donors and those who turn out to support the event continues to overwhelm me."

Creations Auction has grown by five times from where it was just five years ago, in 2008. All proceeds from the event will be invested in the Foundation's Hospice Endowment. The Hospice Endowment was established in 2002 when it was recognized that many of the area hospice programs were closing due to large operating losses. Endowment contributions have included organizational gifts, individual gifts, memorials and proceeds from the Creations Auction.

"Growing the Hospice Endowment through community involvement has been so important," Schaan said. "The endowment is the public's input to the Foundation and Hospital Association's Boards of Directors that this community benefit is one that they want to preserve into the future. It's difficult to imagine not being able to assist the many families that have been helped by hospice. If you could ask the caregivers, they would tell you the gratitude expressed by the families gives them very clear indication that we are providing a very worthwhile service."

By growing the endowment, the foundation is able to secure the future of hospice for our area and annually makes gifts back to the hospice program at Heart of America Medical Center (HAMC). This year a gift of approximately $15,000 will be made to offset the operating losses from hospice at HAMC.

Creations Auction has featured many fine crafts, quilts, crocheted handiworks and artist items over the years. Donors put their creative labor into the items and generously give them in support of hospice. More recently, the event has broadened the appeal for the public by including alternatives such as televisions, gift certificates, hardware and tools, rifles and sports memorabilia. Some donors choose to give monetary donations and sponsor a prize.

"Meeting with the donors and hearing the stories behind their donations is one of the best parts of this event," Schaan said. "They are so very thoughtful in what and why they are donating. These gifts mean everything to the success of this fundraiser."

Growth is not only occurring for the Creations Auction. Hospice utilization is growing at HAMC. In the first six months of the current fiscal year the hospice program provided double the days of service compared to any of the previous five years. Hospice is growing in popularity as it provides for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the terminally ill and their families. The team covers many medical disciplines and is a holistic approach providing high quality personalized care, education and coordination of services to meet individual and family needs.

"Every year I am overwhelmed by the creative talent in our community and the willingness of businesses throughout the state to donate to the Creations Auction," Hershey said. "As hospice director, it encourages me beyond words to know that the money raised means we can help more families and keep the program growing and available to our community."

- Submitted by Good Samaritan Health Services




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