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Published March 22, 2005
Volume 13, Number 3



Hope Hospice Celebrates 25th Anniversary with "Ship of Hope" Gala


Hope Hospice, a local nonprofit that provides hospice care for those facing life-threatening diseases and grief support for their families, is celebrating their 25th anniversary with a special event on Saturday, April 16 at Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton. The theme for the gala evening is the “Ship of Hope” and will feature a delicious dinner, dancing, and silent and live auctions, all combined in a cruise theme. The event’s sponsors include the Tri-Valley Herald, the local newspaper based in Hacienda.

As their name and the party’s theme suggests, the organization knows a lot about the metaphorical “Ship of Hope.” “By the time we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we will be close to having served 3,000 patients,” says Helen Meier, executive director of Hope Hospice. “We provide patient care in patient’s homes and more recently we’ve also begun providing care in skilled nursing facilities and residential care facilities for the elderly.”

The organization has seen a great deal of growth in that time. “When we started 25 years ago, Hope Hospice was dealing with just a few patients,” Meier says. “At this point in time, our patient caseload is averaging around 40 patients at a time.”

In addition to end-of-life services for patients, Hope Hospice offers other services as well. “We also provide extensive bereavement follow-up services to the families, and our bereavement program is also available to members of the community who have not used our patient care but who have lost a loved one to death. We work with about 500 people in our bereavement department every year, and that includes both adults and children.”

Perhaps most impressive is that Hope Hospice’s aid has always been provided regardless of the recipient’s ability to pay. “Because we’re a non-profit agency, we have been able to provide our bereavement services to the community free of charge now for 25 years and that’s because of the very generous donations of people in the community to our agency,” says Meier.

This record of compassion and generosity will be celebrated at the event, which will take place on April 16 from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. In addition to dinner with the captain and an opportunity to stroll the decks of the “Ship of Hope,” those in attendance will be able to try their luck at blackjack or bingo. One lucky winner will depart the ship with a treasure chest full of coins.

The formal event (cocktail or black tie attire is recommended) will also honor Hope Hospice’s founders. “There are a few of the founders who still live in the area and we will be inviting them to the event and saying thank you that night,” says Meier. “It’s going to be delightful to be able to go back to the folks who actually got this going 25 years ago. They were all volunteers with no paid staff when they started out, so the community can be very grateful to those people for their vision and their dream and what they created.”

Tickets for the event are available now at a cost of $75 per person, with reserved seating at tables of ten. Seating is limited. Other sponsorship opportunities are available, including donation of events for auction. To reserve tickets or for information on sponsorship, contact Hope Hospice at (925) 829-8770.

 

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