You would be hard-pressed to find someone in the 100 Mile House community who hasn’t been touched by the loss of a loved one, according to Tracy Haddow.
As the executive director of the 100 Mile District Hospice Palliative Care Society, Haddow said she often hears touching stories firsthand when out in the community.
“Almost everybody has a story of their own,” Haddow said. “They can relate or they’ve experienced it, or they’ve received support from hospice. Quite often people will tear up as they start to share with me.”
During the lead-up to Hospice Awareness Month every May, Haddow said those personal stories of love and loss are often partnered with offers of support from community members and business owners.
This year has been no different, she said, with dozens of local businesses stepping up to raise funds and awareness for the many hospice services and supports.
One of the bigger campaigns this month is promoting the Friends of Hospice program, Haddow said, which has seen a dip in membership over the past few years.
“For $10 per year, new members get a butterfly pin and three newsletters a year so they know what’s going on with hospice,” she explained, noting that higher membership numbers also help with grant applications.
“But really what their membership does is it says they recognize the value of the hospice program in our community and they believe it’s important.”
BJ’s Donuts & Eatery will be helping out the membership drive by offering a free donut to anyone who signs up in the eatery on May 24 and 27, between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Butterfly Cookies will be back at Lac La Hache Bakery every Friday throughout May, with all money collected for the $1.75 tasty treats going directly to the hospice society.
Cariboo Plant Ranch will be selling its popular sunflowers with a portion of sales donated to hospice – the plants can be pre-ordered online or by calling the hospice office.
JD’s Salon will be donating and matching $1 from every service throughout the month and Frank’s Custom Meats will sell Royal Almond Roca for $10 with all funds raised donated to hospice.
Cookie sales will take place at the Williams Lake & District Credit Union on May 13 – where there will be books for sale as well – and Shannon’s Flour Shop on May 18.
On May 17, Rise & Grind Coffee House will donate 25 per cent of all coffee sales to the society.
To wrap up the busy month, the Butterfly Brushes event will return to the 108 Mile Ranch Community Hall on May 31 at 4 p.m., featuring appetizers and dinner prepared by Carol Thorne, door prizes, a silent auction with items donated by several local businesses and a paint night with local artist Bobbie Crane.
Tickets are $75 each and almost half sold out already, Haddow said, encouraging people to come out and enjoy a “wonderful, fun evening.”
A 50/50 raffle is also underway, and ticket sales will take place until the end of August, with the draw on Sept. 5.
Haddow said raising funds for the hospice society’s free programming is a large part of the events throughout May, but even more important is getting the word out to the community about the importance of hospice in our community.
“A lot of people have misconceptions about hospice and who we are and what we do, thinking it’s only about death and dying and the last days of life,” she said. “Really what we do is help people right from the point that someone might receive a diagnosis that is potentially life-threatening, all the way through the bereavement process.”
For a full listing of hospice month events, donors and programs, visit 100miledistricthospice.org or call 250-395-7680.