People go overboard for hospice care fundraiserFundraisers aren’t walking the plank toward their own death this month; rather, they’ll walk to help those who are dying. The “Walk the Plank” Polar Pig Splash is set for Jan. 30. Proceeds from the event benefit the Jamestown Hospital Hospice program.
Fundraisers aren’t walking the plank toward their own death this month; rather, they’ll walk to help those who are dying.
The “Walk the Plank” Polar Pig Splash is set for Jan. 30. Proceeds from the event benefit the Jamestown Hospital Hospice program.
The hospice program provides end-of-life care for people who doctors say have less than 6 months to live. Typically, those patients are elderly, but sometimes hospice cares for the middle-aged and even children, said Maren Radi, hospice coordinator at Jamestown Hospital. The program provides care for the patient’s family as well, Radi said.
“It’s an emotional process and a physical process,” she said.
Organizer Don Wegner said he and the Stutsman Harley-Davidson HOGS (Harley-Davidson owners) group got involved because everyone, eventually, needs end-of-life care.
“Boy, everybody’s family, it seems, sooner or later needs hospice,” he said.
Last year, the Polar Pig Splash raised $10,000. The funds support the day-to-day operations of the hospice program, said Jan Barnes, Jamestown Hospital Foundation director. Now in its fourth year, the fundraiser’s goal is $13,000.
To make the goal, clubs, businesses and individuals will raise money to take the Polar Pig Splash. The Splash is held outdoors in a pool shaped like a pirate ship. Although the water is heated, it still doesn’t feel like a day at the beach, said George Quigley, representative of District 8 ABATE. District 8 ABATE is the local chapter of the American Bikers Aiming Toward Education organization.
“It’s by far not a hot tub,” he said.
But if a winter wash makes you shiver your timbers, for a $5 donation, participants can simply eat instead. In addition to the splash, participants may taste about 15 types of chili and vote for their favorite, Quigley said. The chili ranges from hot to sweet and varies from green chili to chicken chili to chili made with elk meat, he said.
“All money goes to hospice right there on the spot,” Quigley said.
Participants can also partake in the Splash’s silent auction.
Hospice serves about 12 people a month, Barnes said, and their care is typically given in their home or nursing home.
“Nobody wants to end their life in a hospital,” she said.
In its 15th year, Barnes said the longevity of the hospice program is, in part, because of the Polar Pig Splash fundraiser. Medicare and most insurance plans cover most of the costs, but not all of them.
“We have kept going for 15 years because of the program,” she said.
The Polar Pig Splash is set for 10:30 a.m. Jan. 30 at Stutsman Harley-Davidson. To walk the plank, participants or groups must raise at least $100. For more information on the fundraiser, contact Wegner at 320-7866. For more information on hospice, contact Jamestown Hospital at 252-1050.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at email@example.com