from the Cowichan Valley Citizen, published September 17 2018

Eager to bring quality and specialized end-of-life care to the region, local health care auxiliaries have pledged more than $600,000 to the Cowichan Hospice House project.

Cowichan Hospice staff were touched that Joan Hayden-Luck and the late Pat King of the Cowichan Lodge Auxiliary made a donation of $21,862 in support of the Hospice House project back in 2016. These women felt that the hospice project was worthy of the final gift that resulted from their hard work over the years.

Their donation was closely followed by a $100,000 donation from the Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary made in December of 2017.

“We are proud to announce that the Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary has pledged an additional $200,000 over the next two years toward the construction of a Hospice House of excellence in Duncan,” said Dawne Grant, auxiliary member.

Susan Leslie, president of the Auxiliary to the Cowichan District Hospital said members are excited to support the project.

“Our members are 100 per cent behind the ladies and gentlemen who are spearheading this much needed project. We hope the community sees the need and will give their support as well,” said Leslie. The Auxiliary to the Cowichan District Hospital has pledged $133,792 to the project.

The Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary is also on board, making their largest-ever donation to date — $145,000 in 2018. President Jennifer Forest said, “[We are] proud to support the Hospice House project. We look forward to a facility dedicated to hospice care in the Cowichan Valley, to provide an option for our residents to enrich their end of life experience.”

There are personal connections to hospices for many of the auxiliary members. Joan McIndoe, mother to Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary member Deb Henderson, had this to say about her husband’s care at a Vancouver Island Hospice:

“My husband had the best of care and was kept pain-free. Being in hospice took the pressure off me and made it bearable for our family. We could concentrate solely on our loved one.”

These contributions help to provide a strong funding foundation for the Cowichan Hospice House which is set to open its doors in 2020 at Cairnsmore Place. This purpose built facility will offer skilled, compassionate, person-centred end of life care to anyone in the Cowichan region who needs it.

For those wishing to donate or for more information about the project, please contact Gretchen Hartley at 250-701-4242 or visit

Zoe Lauckner is the development assistant for Cowichan Hospice.