City Councillor Dan Rye (left) and Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff (right) helped Suzanne Lehbauer kick off the Celebrate a Life campaign.

Castlegar Hospice kicks off Celebrate a Life

Annual fundraiser for hospice features display and memorial trees at Super 8.

Castlegar Hospice Society kicked off its 15th annual Celebrate a Life memorial tree and holiday display last Thursday at the Super 8 Hotel. Celebrate a Life encompasses two aspects, one is supporting hospice financially and the other is having a place to leave a memorial message during the holidays in honour of a loved one. There is even a special memorial pet tree.

The display is one of the main fundraising events for Castlegar Hospice. “It’s a chance for people to come in, make a donation and put a card on one of our memorial trees,” said Castlegar Hospice Society executive director Suzanne Lehbauer. “I would like to thank the Super 8 and the Black Rooster who are our sponsors every year.” Donations can be given to staff at Super 8, made online at www.castlegarhospice.org or by calling the office at 250-304-1266. There is also a tree on display at the Black Rooster that is for sale.

Part of the fundraising this year includes a raffle for a Fender Squier Bullet Strat guitar that has been signed by members of the Rolling Stones. The guitar comes with a certificate of authenticity verifying the signatures of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood and Bill Wyman. Tickets are $15 each, or 2 for $25, they can be purchased by calling the office 250-304-1266 through Dec. 4. Only 150 tickets will be sold.

Castlegar Hospice will be hosting a special Handling the Holidays grief support drop in at the Castlegar Community Complex Dec. 9 from noon-6. “For anyone who is having a bit of a tough time this holiday season,” explained Lehbauer. “They can come and talk to one of our support workers, get some tools to help them get through the Christmas and holiday season.”

Castlegar Mayor Chernoff attended the event and expressed his appreciation for the society and his ongoing support for their desire to build a local hospice facility. “Hospice plays such a big role in our commuity,” said Chernoff. “They really need a place so badly. People need them at that time and they need to have a facility for that. Suzanne and her group are working so hard to get there. I know it is a struggle, but we will get there.”