LOWVILLE — A large symbolic check for a genuinely large amount was given to Lewis County General Hospital by the Friends of Hospice in the county Tuesday afternoon.

A mixture of creative fundraising activities, from the return of its Epicurean Delight local cuisine tasting event to the holiday Light Up A Life memorial Christmas tree decorations and generous donations from the estates of many people who received care by Hospice professionals in the county, allowed the group to give the hospital a $100,000 donation.

“Hospice allows us to support individuals and families to experience the process of dying with dignity. We could not do that without you and you will allow us to continue this service into the future,” said hospital Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cayer after receiving the check from the Friends of Hospice Board President Loretta Keys.

One of the most successful ongoing fundraising projects, according to Mrs. Keys, is its memorial garden located in Village Park behind the bandstand where families can purchase memorial stones for their loved ones.

While the 14-member Friends board is primarily focused on fundraising for Hospice, it is also instrumental in “elevating awareness” of the services Hospice offers to the community, Mr. Cayer said.

Hospice patient care coordinator Tammy Suiter, R.N., said they are still challenged in helping people understand the full purpose of Hospice.

“People think that they should wait to call Hospice right at the end, at the very last minute, but it’s better to reach out to us long before that and let us evaluate the person and give them and their family the help that they need,” Ms. Suiter said.

Hospice serves about 75 people in the county annually, according to Ms. Suiter, with palliative and end-of-life care for terminally-ill people in their homes and in the nursing home and general inpatient respite at the hospital.

The Hospice page on the hospital’s website indicates the group promotes “quality of life through holistic comfort care” in all its physical, social and spiritual aspects.

For more information about Friends of Lewis County Hospice and how to donate or volunteer, visit http://friendsoflchospice.org.

For more information about Lewis County Hospice call 315-376-5308.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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