By Leslie Ballard
Everyone likes an auction with variety and that’s what bidders will see when they sign onto the Wings Of Hope Hospice Night of Hope online auction May 19-21.
A Deluxe Tenpoint Crossbow, a cottage rental in the UP, a diamond ring with a .70 carat central diamond and .6 carat surround in a 14-carat white gold setting, a Traverse City getaway, a gourmet BBQ with musical entertainment for 50 at your home, a kayak trip, a CPL class for 10 and even a chicken coop are among the many items available during the 3-day event.
This is the 25th year for the Night of Hope event, and the third that it’s been online. Fundraising Coordinator Amy Chestnut said whether to go back to the gala in person or remain online one more year was a challenging decision, but the onset of Covid variants during planning made them “err on the side of caution.”
Another auction item that Executive Director Theresa Lynn her team hope will attract a lot of buyers is the Day of Care. These are unlimited and allow buyers to provide a patient with one day of care. “You may not have a physical item to pick up, but you do experience a great feeling knowing that someone has been helped because of you,” observed Lynn. A Day of Care is $155, and buyers may purchase as many as they wish.
Chestnut organizes several events each year, but the auction is their biggest money maker. Sometimes people or groups will host events that raise funds for Wings of Hope, she reports. “It’s really special and it makes a difference.”
Nearly $600,000 a year is needed for Wings of Hope Hospice to provide care for approximately 300 clients, according to Development Director Betty Jo Duquette. In addition to caring for people who are terminally ill and in the last six months of life, Wings of Hope also provides Journeys palliative care for people who are still seeking curative care and their prognosis is longer than six months.
The organization also has a number of people trained to provide information and assistance with advanced directives, which documents who will make decisions for you in the event you can’t make your own health care decisions.
Grief support is another program Wings of Hope supplies to everyone in the community at no charge.
“We don’t turn people away if they are uninsured or have no one to help pay,” said Lynn, and noted that Hospice pays for everything a patient needs for their illness, including medication, medical equipment and supplies as well as the professional staff.
Patients have no out-of-pocket costs and are cared for in their homes or wherever they call home.
“We have an amazing staff and volunteers. They are on the front lines with people who are very vulnerable in this special time of their lives,” added Lynn.
Wings of Hope serves people in Allegan and Van Buren counties and surrounding communities as well.
How to help? “Bid on items! Buy days of care! Purchase raffle tickets!” said Chestnut with a smile. Anyone who wants to become a sponsor for the event or donate items may contact her at 269-686-8659 or email@example.com soon.
The nice thing about the online auction is that bidders can hold their own parties with friends and family. “Last year a family and their siblings really competed with each other on the bidding. The texts were flying between them as they tried to outbid each other,” laughed Duquette.
Wings of Hope always has a variety of ways in which those interested in getting more involved in this important work can do so. Visit www.wingsofhopehospice.com or call 269-686-8659 for more information.
By Leslie Ballard