Pilgrims was delighted to honour a few of our philanthropic heroes that help make community hospice care available to our community at this year’s AFP philanthropy awards.
PARKER POTHIER – YOUTH
Parker Pothier first accessed our Expressive Arts for Grieving Children, Teens and Families as a young teen grieving the loss of his precious Baba. Baba lived in the family home and took part in raising Parker into his early teen years, so her loss was a traumatic point in his life.
He sought his own supports when others were not receptive to his pleas for counseling, and he found the program at Pilgrims Hospice Society by searching the internet. The impact of the eight-week program had on Parker helped him turn into a healthy, positive, young adult.
Parker has now worked with our grieving youth for over five years after taking our volunteer training. His ability to share his personal grief journey has proved to be effective model with in our curriculum. Parker is a superhero to everyone in our program.
Bruce Kirkland has been instrumental to the work of the Pilgrims Hospice Society, including championing the fundraising for the Roozen Family Hospice Centre. Bruce is deeply committed to ensuring Edmontonians have a facility that allows for quality care and quality of life for patients who are at the end of their life, and for the families who are preparing for the loss of their loved ones.
As a member of the Campaign Cabinet, Bruce has built awareness and community profile for the Society. Through advertising at Lexus of Edmonton and supporting charity partnerships, including the Home for Hospice campaign as Sorrentino Restaurant Group’s partner for 2019, raising over $500,000 for the campaign, Bruce is improving lives of the society’s clients and families.
Christine Eyre is a new volunteer with Pilgrims Hospice. In only six months Christine has made a large impact and is a shining light at Pilgrims Hospice Society. Her easy rapport, non-judgement and generosity are true gifts.
In the Home Hospice program she companions a palliative client one on one, allowing them to live out their last months with a friend at their side. At the Home for the Homeless, she assists on a weekly basis by sitting at the bedside of a dying person, talking with them, cooking for them, and definitely bringing a smile to their faces.
In the No One Dies Alone program, volunteers make a huge difference and those like Christine make them successful. She has proven that you can make a big difference in a short amount of time. She has touched the lives of many who are in their final days. Christine is an inspiration.
Garnet Clark is a long-time Board member of the Pilgrims Hospice Society. As treasurer, he built the foundation for long-term financial stability while advancing the strategic plan to build Edmonton’s first free-standing residential hospice. A hospice supports those who are nearing the end of their life and redefines hope and improves quality of life.
As a result of Garnet’s leadership, through strong operations funding and engagement of community and donors, a new 12-bed hospice home is expected to open in late 2020. The Roozen Family Hospice Centre will provide care to the ill and their families through compassionate care. The Society is grateful for Garnet’s vision and leadership.
After her husband died, Roberta came for support to Pilgrims Hospice Society as a volunteer. For four years she has touched many lives in five Palliative and Grief Support programs.
Roberta can be counted on to bring about a chuckle without fail. Her pages of jokes and riddles create an emotional reprieve for clients who struggle with illness, and a sense of comradery between staff, volunteers and clients. Even with the odd “Boo” she persevered to make a difference.
Roberta has taken the Canadian Palliative and Hospice Care Association’s volunteer training through Pilgrims allowing her to work in our Home Hospice Visiting program, No One Dies Alone program and St. Joes End of Life Home, companioning individuals in their final days.
While completing the Social Work Program at MacEwan University, Roberta continues to volunteer with Pilgrims, and co-facilitating grief support groups. Roberta generously shares her experiences, wisdom, kindness and humor with our clients, fellow volunteers and staff.