Hospice Heroes

Heroes risk their lives running into burning buildings to save the occupants and diving into rivers to save people who are drowning. But heroes also work quietly behind the scenes, selflessly giving of their time and raising money to help a worthy cause. It is this group of heroes, the every day life heroes, that Victoria Hospice recognizes each year with their Hospice Heroes Leadership Awards. Four awards are given annually as a way to honour these champions.

Hillside Centre received this year’s Community Business Award. The Centre has hosted Victoria Hospice’s Celebrate-A-Life event each holiday season since 1997, and they have also introduced Hospice to other organizations that assist with this special event.

Cedar Hill Golf Club Ladies Division won this year’s Distinguished Service Award in honour of their long history of supporting Hospice. The first Cedar Hill Ladies Field Day was held back in 1968. Over the years the event grew to accumulate a surplus and the group wanted to give back to the community.  Cedar Hill Ladies Member Doreen Hall says they selected Victoria Hospice as “the charity that touched most people.” Now this annual tournament includes lunch, fun-filled events throughout the course, and a Hospice mini-boutique, with all funds going to Hospice.

Distinguished Advocate Award winner Brett Hyslop has raised significant funds for Hospice since his mother passed away at Hospice in 2010. As the Head Coach of World Cup Soccer Camp, Brett joined with Canadian national Champion Steiner to found the soccer fundraiser, Anneswer to Cancer. Since 2011, they have raised $126,000.

A brother and sister, Claudia and Jameson Prewett (respectively ages 13 and 12), are this year’s Youth Philanthropy Award winners.  The two young people have spent many hours volunteering in the administrative office as well as at numerous events for Hospice, where their mother, Pam Prewett, is a senior development officer.

When asked about their motivation for volunteering, Claudia answers, “I've just sort of grown up volunteering. Volunteering runs in our family and I like the organization. I know that all the money raised at the events I volunteer at help make people more comfortable at the end of their life.” Jameson adds, “I like what Victoria Hospice stands for, which is providing support and care for end-of-life patients. I think it's important to support people in their time of need.”

Claudia and Jameson enjoy many aspects of their volunteering. “I like meeting people and I like that they like me. Also the events are fun and have good food!” reports Jameson. Claudia agrees. “I also like meeting people and I like feeling appreciated. The events are fun and I always feel like I've done a good thing.”

What about you? You can be a Hospice Hero by donating to support the quality end of life care provided by Victoria Hospice.

[Originally published in the October 2013 edition of Focus Magazine.  Photo credit: Gregg Eligh.]

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Quality palliative and end-of-life care for all: Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for those facing life-limiting illness, death and bereavement through patient and family centred care, education, research and advocacy.