Raleigh, NC (May 1, 2014)—Hospice of Wake County (HOWC) celebrated their 35th year of service to the community on Thursday, April 10th at their annual dinner and fundraising event. Three hundred and sixty people attended this year’s event at the North Ridge Country Club in Raleigh.  In just one night they raised over $195,929 to provide care and support to individuals suffering from terminal illness, and their families.

According to Special Event Coordinator Kelly Hughes, the annual dinner is always highly entertaining, inspiring and successful.  “This is an exciting time for us with planned growth and expansion of our hospice care.  And it’s important to remember that this type of event brings so much more than money; it provides peace of mind and grief support, as well as emotional and spiritual support of our patients and family members.”

The event was hosted by HOWC board member and WRAL’TV’s Monica Laliberte, who recounted a brief history of the past 35 years including the tremendous growth in patient census, service area, services, and staff. She also shared exciting news of the Hospice Home expansion, the addition of a Pet Peace of Mind program, and the company’s name change to Transitions LifeCare on April 30th.

Former board member and WRAL-TV anchor David Crabtree delivered the invocation and introduced his close friend Ira David Wood, III as the evening’s guest speaker.  Wood is best known locally as founder of Theater in the Park and as Ebenezer Scrooge in the annual production of A Christmas Carol.

With expert technique and free spirit, Ben Farrell, Custom Benefit Auctions,  orchestrated the bidding.  Auction items included a trip for two to the Churchhill Downs horse races, dinner for 28 in the Annual barn wine cellar, tickets for four to the premier performance of A Christmas Carol and backstage tour, and a private dinner for 10 hosted by HOWC Founder, board member and capital campaign co-chair Dr. William Dunlap and HOWC board member and capital campaign co-chair Brenda Gibson. Bidding from the live auction alone totaled $59,500.  Guests also bid on the opportunity to fund days of hospice care (ranging from one to 30 days), raising an additional $71,000. An additional $65,429 has been collected since the April 10thevent.

“Events like the annual dinner and fundraiser give us the ability to serve these individuals faced with terminal illness, while celebrating life.” stated Michael Blanchard, VP of Development.  “It also provides an arena for us to share annual highlights including patient and client census information that supports our expansion, the attainment of our Level 3 partnership in the We Honor Veterans program, and the creation of a veteran’s garden on campus that will be dedicated later this month.  Further, it feels great to let folks know how their contributions are being used in positive ways.”

Sponsors and table hosts of the event included: The Banks & Dorthy Kerr Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, American Home Health Care, Eisai, WakeMed, Williams Realty and Building Company, The Watered Gardner, Deloitte LLP and PPD.

Committee members included special event coordinator Kelly Hughes, Beth Moye, Monica Laliberte, Mary Beth Woody and Jeanne Lawson.

About Transitions LifeCare  (formerly Hospice of Wake County)

As the community hospice since 1979, Hospice of Wake County provided physical, emotional, and spiritual care to those living with advanced illness, their caregivers, and those who have lost a loved one, regardless of age, race, religion, or financial circumstances. Service areas included Wake, Durham, Johnston, Franklin and Harnett counties. Transitions LifeCare will continue the same mission and vision with an expanded service area into Chapel and Carrboro while providing  Transitions HospiceCare, Transitions Palliative Care, Transitions, HomeHealth and Transitions GriefCare.  We remain a non-profit organization guided by community-based boards of directors and trustees, and supported by a dedicated professional staff, Transitions LifeCare provides compassionate hospice care allowing patients to enjoy their lives to the fullest.  For more information, call 919.828.0890 or visit http://www.hospiceofwake.org and now http://www.transitionslifecare.org

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