Mark Zenko from the Gyro Club of the Albernis presents a donation of $2,720 to Chris Mellin, left, house manager at Ty Watson House Hospice and Teresa Ludvigson, executive director of Alberni Valley Hospice Society. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Mark Zenko from the Gyro Club of the Albernis presents a donation of $2,720 to Chris Mellin, left, house manager at Ty Watson House Hospice and Teresa Ludvigson, executive director of Alberni Valley Hospice Society. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Gyro Club donation comes at good time for Ty Watson House Hospice

COVID-19 has cancelled hospice society’s major fundraisers.

A donation from the Gyro Club of the Albernis will assist Ty Watson House Hospice with a number of items this fall.

Mark Zenko from the Gyro Club brought the donation in September to Alberni Valley Hospice Society executive director Teresa Ludvigson and Ty Watson house manager Chris Mellin.

“This started because we had a joke contest earlier in the spring,” Zenko said. “The winner of the contest was Dan Mihaychuk, and he said he was going to donate his winnings to the Ty Watson House Hospice.”

Member Don Ferster asked the rest of the club members if anyone else wanted to donate, and members stepped up to boost the donation to $2,720.

The money will go toward cleaning the roof and replacing gutters at Ty Watson House as well as other repairs. “We’ve been doing a lot of repairs to Ty Watson House,” Ludvigson said. “We just did a complete facade replacement.”

Ty Watson House is 110 years old and except for replacing the elevator a couple of years ago, the facade replacement was the first major work done since the building was turned into a hospice.

The house was donated by Ty Watson, who was a pharmacist on Third Avenue. A concert pianist in his spare time, Watson was also a seed collector and gardener: his past hard work in the gardens is still visible.

The donation couldn’t come at a better time, says Ludvigson.

“Since spring we lost our ability to do our black tie gala and our butterfly effect (fundraisers). We lost at least $100,000 in fundraising this year.

“We’re so fortunate that we have such awesome community members, business groups and organizations that recognize the need we have to help service the community.”

While she isn’t sure how they will replace their feature fundraisers in this time of COVID-19 restrictions, Ludvigson said the hospice society has designed a community light-up event for early December. More information will be released closer to the event.

Charity and DonationsPort Alberni