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Hospice gains support for growing operations

In the midst of a depressed local economy, compared to the boom days of 2005—2008–some non-profits are stepping up efforts to try to meet their budget projections. But that’s not the case at Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado.

“Actually, we have been more fortunate, said Christy Whitney, chief executive officer for Hospice. She expects the organization to meet its $1.5 million budget.

Hospice features a high-profile campus on 12th Street, just north of Patterson Road, but also includes facilities in Montrose and Delta. The main building offers services for people in later stages of life, and serves about 700 patients and their families each year. There’s plenty of assistance for the clients’ relatives, too. The renovated Miller Homestead contains Hospice’s Child and Teen Program, which helps young people deal with emotional stress and other issues. The homestead also includes Cups Coffee House, which raises funds for the program. A separate restaurant is open daily from 9:30AM to 3:30PM on weekdays.

“We did have dinner, and plan to add that again sometime after the first of the year,” said Whitney.Christy Whitney

A recent addition is the Angel Garden, designed for parents who’ve lost babies or young children. Bricks are engraved with the children’s names. The garden was designed at the request of a peer support group, said Whitney. She was surprised when 75 people showed up for the dedication.

There are a few key elements to Hospice’s success at gaining support, said Whitney.

“Partly, we don’t raise money in any one way,” she said. One-third of the funds come in the form of memorial gifts from families. A fashion show gala raised $110,000. Grants produced another $200,000. And two Heirlooms for Hospice stores netted another $200,000, said Whitney.

“I think if we had one way of raising money we wouldn’t be as successful,” said Whitney.

A Black Tie and Boots fundraiser event is scheduled for January 15th at Two Rivers Convention Center.

Plans call for purchasing a building to house the Montrose Hospice office. The organization needs about $50,000 to reach its $400,000 goal. Hospice would also like to purchase the building that houses the Delta office.

“I want to give a lot of credit to our development team,” said Whitney.

And she continues to be impressed by the support Hospice receives from people in western Colorado.

“They have continued to support and be generous,” she said.

For more information about Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, log on to www.hospicewco.com

Mike Moran has worked as a news and sports reporter, and news manager for the past 30 years, in markets that include Rochester, New York; Colorado Springs; Panama City, Florida and Monroe, Louisiana. He also teaches Speechmaking at Mesa State College and assists his wife, Toni Heiden, in managing her real estate company in downtown Grand Junction. Mike is active in Kiwanis Club of Grand Junction, the Mesa State MBA Alumni Committee, Habitat for Humanity, the United Way and the Botanical Gardens of Western Colorado.
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