General News

Bethell Hospice thanks volunteers and supporters

October 26, 2016   ·   0 Comments

By Bill Rea
It takes a lot of volunteer support to run a facility like Bethell Hospice and last Thursday was a time to express thanks.
There was a large crowd out at Devil’s Pulpit Golf Club for the Bethell Hospice Foundation Giving Thanks event. The evening included reflections offered by some of the people who have been touched by the facility, as well as the presentation of awards.
The Elizabeth Birnie Leadership Award was presented to Chris Merkley.
It was presented by Birnie, the daughter of Lorna Bethell, who founded the facility. Trustee Stan Cameron, who was MC at the event, praised her as a driving force behind the creation of the Hospice.
“Her dedication rallied support for the capital campaign and she later served both as Chair and past chair of the Bethell Hospice Foundation Board, and as a front-line Hospice volunteer.”
She said the award is presented annually by the Foundation to someone who has shown outstanding leadership, as well as contributing to the promotion and fundraising efforts.
“Tonight’s award recipient is extremely deserving,” Birnie remarked.
“His passionate belief in the importance of Bethell Hospice in our community, and his unwavering support has made a huge impact on our ability to build awareness and meet our fundraising goals,” she said.
Birnie also recalled Merkley created the facility’s first brochure, and also produced some 27,500 floral cards for the gift card fundraiser. He has continued to work on the brand of the organization, discounting his services and often providing materials for free.
“I was very, very surprised and honoured when I was told about this award,” Merkley remarked as he accepted it.
And Anne Livingston was presented with the Lorna Bethell Legacy Award.
In making the presentation, Foundation Co-chair Tim Powell recalled the late Mrs. Bethell’s leadership, tenacity and spirit that went into creating the facility. He also said the award is presented annually to a person, family or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the Hospice
Powell said Livingston was the unanimous choice of the board.
“From the age of 15, when she first volunteered with her mother, assisting war veterans at the Red Cross, she has always made time in her life to help others,” he observed. “Juggling the many demands of farming and raising a family, she was always a bundle of energy in the community, lending her talents to numerous volunteer organizations.”
“Since becoming involved with Bethell Hospice Foundation, she has not only become the benefactor of our Morning Glory Room and leant her support to countless fundraising initiatives, but also acted as an advocate in the community to encourage others to become involved,” he added. “In her own words, ‘Bethell Hospice is so important in this community. It makes me feel good to help. I believe in this place.’”
“I do thank you,” Livingston remarked as she accepted the award.
“And I don’t do what I do to get gifts or be recognized,” she added. “I do it because I should.”
She also recalled being at the facility the day it opened.
“I was absolutely amazed how beautiful a spot it was,” she said.
“I really believe in Bethell House,” she added. “I believe everyone in the community should be involved, because it’s going to involve most of you eventually.”
“Bethell Hospice is a special place,” Mayor Allan Thompson commented, pointing out a lot of people volunteer their time there.
“We need to make sure we keep it viable; keep it working to serve our loved ones,” Thompson added.
In his comments, Cameron pointed out he’s been volunteering at the facility for several years, as he stressed how fortunate the community is to have such an operation. He observed the services provided by Bethell Hospice are free, with the government providing only 60 per cent of the money needed to run it. The Foundation has to raise the rest, which amounts to about $1 million per year.

Bethell Hospice Foundation Co-chair Tim Powell presented the Lorna Bethell Legacy Award to Anne Livingston last Thursday at the Foundation’s Giving Thanks event.

Bethell Hospice Foundation Co-chair Tim Powell presented the Lorna Bethell Legacy Award to Anne Livingston last Thursday at the Foundation’s Giving Thanks event.

Elizabeth Birnie presented the leadership award named after her to Chris Merkley.

Elizabeth Birnie presented the leadership award named after her to Chris Merkley.

Bhupinder Sanghera spoke about her daughter Niki and her experiences as a resident at Bethell Hospice earlier this year. To honour her daughter, the family organized Niki’s Butterflies, which was the largest team ever at this year’s fundraising hike.

Bhupinder Sanghera spoke about her daughter Niki and her experiences as a resident at Bethell Hospice earlier this year. To honour her daughter, the family organized Niki’s Butterflies, which was the largest team ever at this year’s fundraising hike.

         

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