Diane Dekelver, director on the Clearwater and District Hospice board, helps take down the memory tree for the seventh annual Lights to Remember campaign. The seventh annual campaign saw a record year in terms of funds raised. Photo by Jaime Polmateer

Lights to Remember has record year

Sales of cards up by 50 compared to year previous

Clearwater and District Hospice Society’s seventh annual Lights to Remember campaign saw a record breaking year in terms of funds raised, which will cover training for its members in 2019.

Eva Gebert, treasurer for the organization, said sales of cards were up by 50 compared to the year previous, bringing in a total of $1,950 for the group.

“I’d just like to thank all the people who participated and let them know their money will be going to a good cause,” she said.

The Lights to Remember campaign has hospice members sell little cards in memory of the loved ones of those who purchase them.

Then the group decorates a tree in the lobby of the Clearwater Lodge with the cards and welcome people to have a seat, appreciate the decorations and have a comfortable place to reflect.

Because the hospice society is a group that has its members sit with patients in the hospital to keep them comfortable and in good company, new members are required to have a certain degree of training and present members often have to take refresher courses. The donations received go toward the training provided by the certified staff of the Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Hospice House located in Kamloops.

“It went really well,” said Eileen Sedgwick, president of Clearwater’s hospice group, of the recent campaign.

“The community supported us more than 100 per cent and our donations were way up this year.”

Sedgwick added it’ll take less than half of the funds raised to cover training costs, with the remainder hopefully going to a dedicated hospice room the group is trying to have set up in Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital.

Though nothing is set in stone in terms of the organization receiving permission to set up a hospice room at the hospital, she said the organization is optimistic and are holding a meeting with hospital administration this month to see if the project can go forward.

“I phoned (administration) to arrange a meeting and they talked positive about getting together and starting it,” said Sedgwick.

The room at the hospital the group is hoping to convert is the old maternity suite, with plans to convert it into a state of the art palliative care suits that’s designed to feel more like a home than a room in a hospital.

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