CORNWALL, Ontario – While the weather outside was frightful this Sat. Feb. 11, it didn’t stop people from coming out to enjoy the Legion’s ninth annual Valentine’s Dinner and Dance for Hospice.
Providing a much-needed break from weather conditions, Cornwall Legion President, Linda Fisher says that she’s pleased with the turnout. “We ordered for 300,” said Fisher. “I’m not sure how many we’ve sold but I imagine we’re pretty close.”
The event began 13 years ago, and was initially organized in support of the Canadian Cancer Society. “I lost my daughter to cancer, and at the time, our President, Ken Heagle’s son had cancer,” said Fisher. In 2008, Heagle suggested that the Legion extend their support to the newly-opened Hospice Cornwall. “If it hadn’t been for Ken, this event probably wouldn’t exist, as it is,” said Fisher.
Fisher says that many people attending the event have personal ties to Hospice. “I think if you went and asked, fifty percent, if not more would have some kind of connection to Hospice,” said Fisher. “Hospice wasn’t ready when my daughter was sick – had it been, that’s where she would have gone.”
Executive member, Linda Wales says the connections are often visible. “When you see new faces, you know that they’re probably coming directly from Hospice,” said Wales. “It’s very rewarding and humbling to be a part of this.” Wales notes that with many veterans receiving end of life care at Hospice, the Legion’s partnership in the event makes sense.
With nearly all the evening’s staff working on a volunteer basis, all money raised can go directly towards supporting Hospice Cornwall. “Hospice is very serious,” said Wales. “So you turn it around and try to make something positive of something that isn’t going to end really well.”