The Alberni Valley Hospice Society welcomed the public to its new “forever” home on 10th Avenue during a grand opening on Thursday, Aug. 8.
The Society purchased the building in the 2500-block of 10th Avenue, which used to be the home of a kindergarten, back in December 2018. After some extensive renovations, the new space offers 1,000 more square feet than the society’s previous offices on Third Avenue.
The new offices will offer administration services, community education, hospice volunteer training, the Reflections program, grief and bereavement counselling and support services, Healing Touch, Reiki and other holistic health services. The building even offers spaces for children and families.
Jennifer Collette, president of the Alberni Valley Hospice Society, thanked sponsors, donors and volunteers on Thursday for their support throughout the years.
“We have finally achieved a permanent home for hospice because of all of you,” she said.
She also thanked fund development officer Teresa Ludvigson, who acted as project lead throughout the construction of the new space.
“Teresa has put her heart and soul into this project,” Collette explained.
Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions attended the grand opening on Thursday, along with five city councillors. “I think that really speaks to the importance of this project,” she said. “I can’t think of another organization who has touched so many families in our community in such a meaningful way.”
Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser was reminded of the late Maria Castiglione, who, in the last weeks of her life in 2006, lobbied with the provincial government to open Ty Watson House. “Maria never got to spend time at Ty Watson in her last days, but she knew that she made a difference,” said Fraser on Thursday.
“Fast forward to 2019, and almost 400 people have had quality end-0f-life care in Port Alberni because of the Alberni Valley Hospice Society. This is the next step, and it’s a great step.”
The society is currently holding a Vancouver Island Getaway Raffle to raise funds for the Ty Watson House. Tickets are $10 each and are available at the Hospice Office (2579 10th Avenue).