Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Why We Support Hospice

by Ellen Gil of Sockshop and Shoe Company

Kelsey Wolf, Ricky Gutierrez, Ellen Gil - owner, Nathaniel Wallner, June Rose Guerra,
Eric Gil - owner, Hunter Gil - son, Lee Sylvia.

On November 1, we’ll host a First Friday event at our store, Sockshop and Shoe Company in Downtown Santa Cruz, from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM. We’re sponsoring this activity to support Hospice of Santa Cruz County. There will be music, art, refreshments, and wine on Friday night.  A portion of all purchases made during the entire weekend will go to Hospice of Santa Cruz County. We’re donating some great shoes that will be raffled off as well. We think it’s important to support our community and Hospice is such a worthy organization, which makes sponsoring this event such a pleasure.

We hope the event makes people more aware of the compassionate care provided by Hospice of Santa Cruz County. In fact, we first became aware of hospice many years ago when we went to a local Jackson Browne concert. At the start of the concert he mentioned that his mom was a patient of Hospice of Santa Cruz County and said he was thankful for the care she received. I've also known people in this community who have been Hospice patients and I know that they got incredible support from the entire patient care team.

This will be our second benefit for Hospice at the store. The program got started more than a year ago with Kelly Short, who was working for Hospice, and knew my husband Eric Gil since high school. She thought the store would be a great venue for an event and asked Eric to sponsor the program. With Kelly’s help, along with other people from Hospice, we were able to create a memorable, festive activity at the store last year. Sadly Kelly was diagnosed with cancer shortly before last year’s event and she recently passed away. I will always remember her kindness, humor and enthusiasm. I am thankful that she and others at Hospice gave us this opportunity to demonstrate our support.

Last year’s event was magical, and this one will be as well. The event will support the programs made possible by the outstanding people at Hospice of Santa Cruz County who make such a difference in the lives of patients, their families, and their friends. These programs include grief support services, transitional care services, children’s bereavement programs, education and outreach, and hospice care for military veterans. The programs are entirely funded by community members and local foundations.  We hope you’ll join us in supporting this great organization.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Reflections on Oktoberfest 2013

By: Adrienne Meier – Assistant Director of Development
Hospice of Santa Cruz County

It's a few days after Hospice of Santa Cruz County’s largest  fundraiser of the year, Oktoberfest, and our 30 year strong Friends of Hospice, are still working around the clock making sure that all auction items get to their new owners!

The Friends of Hospice are a group of selfless women who volunteer and donate hours upon hours to raise necessary funds for Hospice of Santa Cruz County’s many community programs.  Their energy and dedication to fundraising events such as Oktoberfest is astoundingly profound and this year was no exception.

Friends of Hospice working hard in the background for Oktoberfest
Since I am a new employee of Hospice of Santa Cruz County, Oktoberfest 2013 was my first taste of this   well seasoned event!

Great Oktoberfest food, drink and traditional live Oktoberfest music were just a small part of this expansively popular event.  The Santa Cruz Elks Club was the venue for this annual fundraiser and it was efficiently transformed by the rows and rows of quality silent auction items, tables of highly desired gift certificates, a full banquet room of choice wines offered for auction, as well as top quality local art, which personally caught my attention and pocket book!

Auction items on display at Oktoberfest
Outdoors, I was greeted by not only the pristine Indian summer weather we were blessed with, but another entire area that rivaled the best- of –the- best of garage sales!  This Cash and Carry area was host to the many veteran shoppers that return year after year but I was also pleasantly delighted to witness a clientele of young newcomers (many from our local colleges), that enjoyed the prospect of finding a “Great Deal” and boy did they ever!

I was told at one of our Oktoberfest planning meetings about the stunning garden and plant component of Oktoberfest, but I wasn’t really prepared for the lush variety of plants and annuals that were artfully displayed as you entered Oktoberfest.   My head swirled since the prices didn’t match the top quality of plants and topiaries.  Without hesitation my wallet came out and my home garden was immediately transformed into an autumn retreat because of my abundant purchase of bedding flowers at Oktoberfest!
One of the most exciting aspects of the event was the highly anticipated, live auction. Promptly at 2:45pm bidding numbers were raised in unison as a fun, exciting and a healthy dose of competition ensued. Twenty live auction items were coveted and secured by a variety of generous community folks that came out to have fun and support Hospice of Santa Cruz County.

Beautiful plants from Oktoberfest
Overall, this event was way more than what the name implies.  The Friends of Hospice Oktoberfest is a complete act of love and  generosity from the many women that plan, gather, tote, load-in, haul, set-up, show-up, decorate, call, transport and load-out all in the name of “love” for the many folks that are facing the end of life and their families that stand beside them.

Without our Friends of Hospice and Oktoberfest I would hate to see the impact that it would have on the longest serving Hospice of Santa Cruz County.  I just can’t help but be in gratitude for the positive impact that each member of Friends of Hospice adds to the exceptional quality of care and comfort to our patients and families that are on service.

Thank you dear Friends of Hospice of Santa Cruz County for your hearts to be always by the bedside of the dying while at the same time your hands are lugging boxes!