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Niagara Hospice celebrates 25 years as only hospice provider in county

by jmaloni

Press release

Mon, Jul 8th 2013 07:00 am
An aerial view of the Niagara Hospice House campus where the 25th anniversary gala, `Under the Stars,` will take place.
An aerial view of the Niagara Hospice House campus where the 25th anniversary gala, "Under the Stars," will take place.

"Under the Stars" commemorates 25 years of care 

This summer, Niagara Hospice celebrates 25 years of caring for the most seriously ill residents of Niagara County.

As the only New York state-certified hospice provider in Niagara County, Niagara Hospice staff and volunteers are well-known for their compassionate care, and going above and beyond for their patients and their family caregivers.

Niagara Hospice volunteer Barbara Reed said, "Hospice volunteers feel privileged to be part of each patient's journey. When one of my patients learned I was a volunteer, she asked me why I do it. I told her it was because I didn't want her to be alone. She smiled and was so touched by that, and that made me feel good."

Niagara Hospice is the hospice provider for Niagara County residents who live at home, with a caregiver, at Niagara Hospice House and at contracted nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as well as hospitals.

"The growth of our organization over the past 25 years has been nothing short of incredible. We have not only had the opportunity to provide care for thousands of patients in their own home and at area nursing facilities, but we have been able to grow an extraordinary staff and volunteer corps, build Niagara Hospice House that has been used as a model for other hospices, and develop several collaborations with long-term care facilities who share our dedication and commitment to the specialty of end-of-life care," said Patricia Degan, director of marketing and public relations.

To celebrate 25 years of service and to increase awareness of hospice care in Niagara County, Niagara Hospice will host a 25th anniversary gala, an evening "Under the Stars," on Friday, Aug. 16, at 6 p.m., beneath the newly constructed Dominic Lariccia Family Pavilion on Niagara Hospice's Sunset Drive Campus. The gala will feature antique car rides; a star-gazing location with telescopes; live and silent auction items; music by The Jim Beishline Quartet; local wines from the Niagara Wine Trail; local and regional craft beers provided by WNY Beer Club; catering by the Tuscarora Inn; and a chance to win $10,000.

Visit the events page at www.NiagaraHospice.org for ticket information. If you would like to support the event with a donation of your time driving your antique car, providing a telescope or auction items, contact the Niagara Hospice Alliance at 716-280-0780.

Additionally, the gala will feature a very special book: "25 Years of Shared Journeys," which is a pictorial scrapbook illustrating Niagara Hospice's history going back to 1980 when hospice was just an idea.

"It was a process ensuring hospice care would be available for our county," said Niagara Hospice co-founder and board member Patricia Evans. "I was proud to be part of the small group that Rev. Cook organized back in 1980 to discuss the feasibility of developing a hospice program. And I'm so proud of how it has evolved and grown."

Evans and volunteers Janice Litz, Mary Ligammari and April Biamonte poured over boxes and files from the last 33 years to assemble and design the limited edition book, which will be available to Niagara Hospice friends and supporters. "25 Years of Shared Journeys" will be available at the gala for a $20 donation. It is available online at www.NiagaraHospice.org.

Many Niagara Hospice volunteers, staff and hospice family members and founders are remembered throughout the professionally printed book. Funds raised from both the book and the gala will benefit Niagara Hospice patients and families.

Niagara Hospice celebrates 25 years of providing hospice care this month. Since serving its first patient in 1988, Niagara Hospice has served more than 20,000 individuals and their immediate and extended families, providing comfort, dignity and choice. Hospice services include physical, emotional, psychosocial, spiritual and bereavement care. Hospice care is appropriate for any advanced stage illness, not just cancer, where the prognosis is a life expectancy of approximately six months or less.

For more information, visit www.NiagaraHospice.org or call Niagara Hospice at 716-439-4417.

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