Final push readied for hospice goal

A final push is planned to reach a fund-raising goal for a new hospice house in Tracy, and start construction this year.

“I really feel excited about this.  This is very doable,” comments Nate Schunke, Hospice of Murray County administråator.

Pledges and contributions are now approaching the $150,000 mark, Schunke says, leaving a little over $100,000 more to be raised before construction can begin.

The four-bedroom,  $1.5 million hospice house will be built near the intersection of State and Fifth St. East, northeast of Sanford Tracy.  The hospice’s board of directors has set a $250,000 target to be reached, prior to the onset of construction.  “Our House” has been selected as the name for the home, which will serve the terminally ill.

Schunke would like to see the additional $100,000 in gifts and pledges raised by April 6, when hospice holds its annual spring benefit.

Local committee members, Schunke said, will be making a concerted effort in coming weeks to obtain commitments from 20 individuals, willing to each pledge $5,000.

“Platinum” and “silver” sponsorship giving programs have also been developed.

The spring benefit will be held Friday, April 6, at the Bitton Roadhouse, with the food catered by Lakeside Hideaway.  Tickets are $25 each if obtained prior to a March 23 RSVP.

The evening will include “Music by Bruce Dysthe,” and “Jim Perry Magic.”

A high-occupancy rate that now exists for Hospice of Murray County’s  four-bed house in Slayton is the driving force behind plans to build an additional house in Tracy.  Currently, the hospice can’t fulfill all of the requests that it receives for residential hospice services in Slayton, Schunke said.  A new house in Tracy, will allow the hospice program to do a better job of serving people in both the Tracy and Slayton areas, the administrator believes.

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Members of the Tracy area hospice committee include Jeanine Vandendriessche, Elise Lanoue, Peg Ludeman, Claire Hannasch, Chad Buysse, Marianne Boerboom, Marci Wee, and Mark Seager.

Hospice of Murray County Board Members are: Joe Muldoon (president), Barb Hakeman (vice president, Marcia Wee, Sue Zins, Andy Kopperud, Lorna Bader, Chad Buysse, Mark Seager, and Loretta Gervais.