Benefit meal, silent auction to raise funds for Hospice of Aroostook

Posted May 04, 2012, at 3:28 p.m.
Last modified May 04, 2012, at 5:33 p.m.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Hospice of Aroostook will hold its first Tour of Italy and silent auction on Thursday, May 10, at The Crow’s Nest.

“A delicious five-course Italian meal will be provided. Staff, hospice volunteers and other community members have been diligently gathering a variety of items and packages, including enticing themed gift baskets with names like ‘For the Love of Chocolate,’ ‘Beginnings of Eden,’ ‘Local Fare Potato Basket’ and much more,” said Jessica Thompson-Parady, hospice team supervisor and event coordinator.

Thompson-Parady said there will be something for everyone at the benefit fundraiser.

“This is a great event to treat a special mom for Mother’s Day,” she said.

Doors open at 5:15 p.m. for the silent auction, with Dr. David Jones, central Aroostook’s hospice medical director, acting as master of ceremonies. The auction will close and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m.

“Winners will be announced at 7:30 p.m. There will be dancing until 10 p.m., with music provided by KC & Company DJ Services. Tickets are $25 per person,” Thompson-Parady said.

Organizers look forward to what they hope could become an annual event.

“Many community members have donated goods and services to make this event possible,” said Thompson-Parady. “Our waiters and waitresses are volunteers and any tips for their good service will go directly to Hospice of Aroostook.”

Hospice of Aroostook offers comprehensive care to patients at the end of life. The care is provided to all individuals regardless of their ability to pay.

“Our hospice program is for people with life-limiting illnesses who want comfort care rather than curative treatment. Our hospice professionals specialize in pain and symptom management, physical, emotional and spiritual support, as well as support of the family, including comprehensive bereavement services and volunteer support. With the proceeds raised at this event, Hospice of Aroostook will be able to continue providing care to underprivileged and uninsured individuals,” said Thompson-Parady.

Andrea Paradis, a family member of a recent hospice client, expressed gratitude to the agency and its staff in the form of a poem. “Think of it as a thank-you to you and all of the staff who helped make my life a little easier in what seemed to be the hardest thing I have ever lived through,” said Paradis.

The poem reads in part:

“My loved one was dying, caring for him on my own was quickly becoming more than I could bear;

“I called on the help of Hospice, the loving team members began aiding in his care, relieving me of those duties so that we were able to reminisce about the memories we shared.”

Thompson-Parady gave some guidelines as to when hospice service should be considered.

“It may be time for someone to consider hospice if the prognosis is: six months or less to live, when the patient is enduring treatment that is neither life-prolonging nor enhancing quality of life, and-or when family and loved ones are postponing a discussion about end-of-life care because of a fear that the patient will think they have given up,” said Thompson-Parady.

Tickets for the Tour of Italy and silent auction can be purchased by calling Hospice of Aroostook/Visiting Nurses of Aroostook at 498-2578. If tickets are still available, they will be sold at the door.

Hospice of Aroostook has been providing services for 29 years. Last year, the staff and volunteers provided compassionate end-of-life care to 199 patients and their families. For more information about services, visit www.eastermainehomecare.org or call the patient referral line toll free at 866-591-8843.

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