There were acrobats pouring wine while dangling from the ceiling, a human ring toss game involving a handful of city councillors, and suspenseful magic tricks that had the audience on the edges of their seats.
The Chilliwack Hospice’s Evening Under the Big Top definitely delivered on its theme, at the Squiala Hall on Nov. 5. It was the organization’s 13th annual gala, and they set a goal to hit a cumulative total of $1 million.
And, they did it.
Sue Attrill, Hospice’s brand new executive director, announced on Monday that the grand total of the evening was $86,500, bringing them just above their intended mark. Their new grand total is $1,011,800 in funds raised since that first gala in 2004.
They did that through sponsorships and ticket sales, a silent auction, raffles, cash donations, and the infamous dessert dash.
While the night was filled with entertainment, including a live midway hosted by Chilliwack Players Guild members, the evening was also about supporting people in the most difficult times of their lives. A video played to highlight one of their volunteers, who lost her 12 year old daughter in a family car accident. The family had just about lost all hope, but with the help of bereavement support from hospice, they managed to stay together, and learn to love life again.
Eventually, the mother of four went on to become a hospice volunteer, where she put her experience as a pediatric nurse back to work, along with a kindred heart for those who’ve suffered loss.
The Chilliwack Hospice Society is a registered nonprofit charitable society that offers various bereavement programs, including one on one support, first and second step grief support groups, a children’s support group and teen grieving support, a relaxation program, pregnancy and infant loss support, a suicide and homicide grief support, and a walking group.
They also offer palliative support services at the Cascade Hospice Residence, their Rotary Hospice Centre, Chilliwack General Hospital, and through home visits and vigil services.
All of these services are offered through a team of trained volunteers.
For more information, phone 604-795-4660 or drop by their office during business hours at 45360 Hodgins Ave.
Slide show photos by Jenna Hauck