Blue Diamond Celebration Commemorates 40 Years of Service
CATEGORY: Philanthropy; News and Community
More than 300 friends, colleagues and long-time supporters of the agency’s mission gathered at Landerhaven recently for the Blue Diamond Celebration, a 40th anniversary commemoration and benefit for Hospice of the Western Reserve.
Presented by Huntington Bank, the Blue Diamond Celebration raised more than $225,000 to help support agency programs not reimbursed by insurance, including $110,000 earmarked for programs provided by Western Reserve Grief Services. A few examples include children’s summer grief camps, school services and community grief support groups.
President and CEO Bill Finn honored and thanked those who were involved in the founding and history of the agency, many of whom were in attendance.
He shared important services highlighting the agency’s ongoing commitment to quality and innovation including the pediatric hospice program, one of only 50 such programs in the country, Flight to Remember, which provides patients and their loved ones a chance to revisit a special location via livestreamed drone video, and the Western Reserve Navigator palliative care program, recently honored as one of the nation’s best.
The Dame Cicely Saunders Blue Diamond Award, named for the founder of the modern hospice movement, was presented to volunteer Keith Ashmus. As a long-time hospice advocate, Keith established the Hospice Lawyer Volunteer Program to bring free legal services to seriously ill patients. He is still actively involved as a Hospice of the Western Reserve volunteer today.
The Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Foundation was honored with the Blue Diamond Philanthropy Award. The Foundation has made an indelible impact on HWR. From the groundbreaking of the region’s first Hospice House to the establishment of a bereavement center to construction of Ames Family Hospice House in Westlake, the Foundation’s generous funding has made it possible for HWR to provide compassionate end-of-life care and healing grief support for countless families.
At the event, we attendees were honored to hear from one of HWR's most passionate supporters - Landon Burdick.
Landon was 8 years old when his mom Gina died of cancer. To help him process her death, our Western Reserve Grief Services team invited Landon to our summer grief camps for kids. Experienced counselors helped Landon and other children dealing with a loss work through their grief using art, music, play and nature exploration. After a few summers he knew – he didn’t have to do it alone. What Landon did next is a testament to his strength and the life-changing impact our bereavement services can have on a child, a family and our community. hospicewr.org/Landon