Building to be named ‘Stratford Perth Rotary Hospice’
Rotary Club of Stratford, individuals & other clubs set $1-million goal
STRATFORD, Ont. – In recognition of the Rotary Club of Stratford’s leading support for a local hospice and its commitment to help raise substantial funds for the project, the new hospice will be officially named the Stratford Perth Rotary Hospice.
The Rotary Club of Stratford initiated the project four years ago, has pledged $400,000 to it over 10 years, and has contributed significant volunteer hours and leadership skills throughout the process. It is also continuing to enlist financial support from individual Rotarians and other Stratford and Perth County Rotary clubs to raise a combined $1 million for the hospice. To date, the Festival City Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Mitchell and the Rotaract Club (young adults 18 to 30) have committed to contributing to this fundraising goal.
This home-like setting right here in Perth County will focus on offering comfort and compassionate care to people in the final stages of life, as well as to their families. There will be room for family members to stay overnight, unlimited visitation, no loud paging systems and specialized care. Rather than focussing on dying, hospice care focuses on living each day and each moment to the fullest. And all services are free for residents.
With the hospice project in mind, the Stratford Rotary Dragon Boat Festival – one of the club’s biggest fundraisers – will be donating a part of the proceeds from the September 16th event to the hospice project. The general public is invited to enjoy a day of races, demonstrations, a beer and wine tent, food trucks and free local entertainment.
“This hospice is going to make a significant difference in palliative care throughout our community,” says Andy Werner, Chair of the Stratford Perth Rotary Hospice board. “We’re grateful to Rotary for their commitment to this project and it’s our hope that other service clubs, businesses and individuals will also come forward and support our Because YOU Care capital campaign.”
The process of getting a local hospice has been a long one, but in February of this year the Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN) gave approval for a four-bed hospice in Clinton in Huron County and a six-bed hospice in Stratford.
The estimated $7.5-million Stratford project will see a 10-bed hospice built, with six of those beds supported by LHIN funding. In the past, Stratford and Perth County residents were forced to rely on hospital end-of-life care, or on hospices in Woodstock or London – a challenge in winter conditions or for families without transportation.
More than $2.5 million has been raised to date for the Stratford Perth Rotary Hospice, which includes $1.5 million from the City of Stratford, the $400,000 pledge from the Rotary Club of Stratford and individual Rotarians, plus approximately $600,000 from public and private donations. The Rotary Club of Stratford has been involved since calling a public meeting to discuss the idea in October 2013.
“We’re thrilled to be recognized for our contribution of funds and volunteer hours to this important project,” says Linda Bathe, President of the Rotary Club of Stratford. “It’s heartening to also see the other Rotary clubs in the county adding their support.”
“The Stratford Rotary Club has decided the hospice will be our sesquicentennial project. We’ll be making a major donation for the next 10 years and our club members will provide all the help they can. Right from the beginning, we recognized that building a residential hospice would need to be a project embraced by the whole community and the community has not let us down.”
The ‘Because YOU Care’ fundraising campaign is raising capital to build the hospice, equip the hospice and fund the operating gap – the difference between what the province contributes towards nursing costs and the actual operating costs, which include things like utilities, food, supplies and administrative expenses.
The Stratford hospice will be built beside Greenwood Court on land generously leased to the project for just $1 a year by Tri-County Mennonite Homes. While it was hoped construction would begin this fall, a welcome announcement by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in July initiating a capital program to support building residential hospices in Ontario has delayed the timeline. It’s anticipated construction will begin as early as possible in the spring of 2018.
The overall design of the hospice will also incorporate the flexibility to grow new outreach programs and play a role in developing a centre of learning for healthcare providers and the families of Stratford and Perth County.
Anyone wishing to learn more about donating to the hospice is welcome to contact Lucie Stuart, Fundraising Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519-276-3322.
More details are also available on the project’s website: stratfordperthhospice.ca
For more information, please contact Sarah Hamza at email@example.com. or call 519-301-6254.