Hospice of Lenawee celebrates 30 years with ceremony

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Father Patrick Lowery lead a Blessing of the Building during the “30 Years of Hospice Families” celebration on Sept. 25 at the new Hospice of Lenawee residential care facility, where others, including Hospice President and CEO Bill Kenyon (pictured) joined in the ceremonial blessing. Photo by Jim Lincoln.

A celebration titled “30 Years of Hospice Families” was held on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the new Hospice of Lenawee residential care facility on Wolf Creek Hwy., in Adrian.

For Tecumseh resident Sally Whelan, the opening of the new care facility was a dream come true as she joined a crowd of over 200 supporters to celebrate the organization’s 30th Anniversary.

“It’s an honor working with Hospice,” Whelan said. “It’s been my baby and my life.”

Whelan began working as a volunteer for Hospice back in the 1980’s and currently serves on the board and three committees.

Hospice of Lenawee President and CEO Bill Kenyon presented welcoming remarks. The new facility, he said, could not have been achieved without the support of many people over the past 30 years, noting especially the early efforts of the late Dr. Bruce Jones. He also gave credit to the supporting staff, nurses, aides, social workers, bereavement and spiritual care teams, board members and all the volunteers that work for Hospice and its mission.

Hospice Board Chairperson Jere Righter said the mission statement still applies 30 years later. “We carry your heart in our heart,” Righter said, “and may we all work to continue to fulfill the mission for years to come.”

Sister Rosemary Ferguson performed a Blessing of the Hands ceremony, during which she said, “We owe a multitude of gratitude” for Hospice and the support it has received.

The new Hospice residential facility has served over 40 patients since opening in July, and is $650,000 from its fundraising goal of $5 million.

“We are so fortunate to have a community which can come together to have this facility built,” said Holleigh Baker, Hospice of Lenawee board member. Baker began as a volunteer for the Hospice Lights of Love campaign and has become involved with the organization after the support two of her grandmothers had received by Hospice caregivers.

Following the ceremony, a special Walk of Remembrance was held. Hospice staff members had placed numbers along a walk to signify the number of patients served during each of the past 30 years.

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