Thanks: its what the Austin family has for Hospice of Jefferson County, and its also the theme for the third annual Hospice Charity Auction and Gala.
From her room at Hospices eight-bed residence, Dorothy J. Austin looked through her guest book full of signatures from visitors since she arrived at Hospice of Jefferson County at Ellis Farm, 1398 Gotham St., on Oct. 2.
Its my souvenir, she said.
Her husband, Robert H., said he sought Hospice residential care for his wife of 27 years because of her downward spiral with glioblastoma a stage 4 malignant brain tumor. He travels from his town of Pamelia home to the residence daily to spend time with her before she succumbs to the tumor.
We lived alone, and I wasnt able to take care of her, he said. Before the residence was open, she was in Samaritan Keep Home for a week, and up until then I had taken her to 33 radiation treatments, and was feeding her chemotherapy pills at home.
Mr. Austin, also a Pamelia town justice, said he commended Hospice staff for being so attentive to his wifes needs and supportive of time they still try to spend as a couple. He said its comforting to know that when he cannot be there for his wife, Hospice staff fills that vital role.
I can leave her and know shes well taken care of, he said. Its a great organization. Anyone that gets picked to come here will be fortunate to get the care theyre given here.
Hospice CEO Diana K. Woodhouse said Mrs. Austin was the residences first patient. There are three other residents at the facility, and Mrs. Woodhouse said Hospice is on target for where it wanted to be by years end. Since the residence is a new concept for the organization, she said, it wanted to ease into the process.
Funds raised from the charity auction and gala, from 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1290 Arsenal St., will go toward both in-home care and the residence. This years theme is Give Thanks for Hospice, according to Hospice Foundation Director Lynn R. Dobbins. Tickets to the fundraiser are $75 each and are available by calling the agency at 788-7323.
The event will feature a cocktail hour, silent auction, live auction and dinner and dessert stations. More than 200 people are expected to attend.
Real estate auctioneer Bernard J. Brzostek will donate his time to be the events auctioneer to sell large items such as a 50-inch plasma television donated by Big Apple Music, a cocktail cruise for 60 people from Uncle Sam Boat Tours and an installed security system with a monitor from STAT Communications. There will be more than 100 items between the silent and live auctions.
Mrs. Dobbins said shed love to collect $60,000 from this years event. Last year, Hospice ended up with a net profit of $35,000.
During the event, a wish list of items will be presented by residence staff. Those items include a Keurig coffee maker, laptop computers, a conference telephone, portable radios, commercial Kitchen Aid items and a blanket warmer, among other items.