Wendy Rowsell gives her hands a treat courtesy of Erin Kyllonen.

Hospice event raises funds, awareness

Talking about hospice first step to developing service

It was a fabulous evening of fun, food and fashion for about 150 women who attended Hospice Castlegar’s “Couture for a Cause” fundraiser last week at the Castlegar Community Complex.

Participants took part in carnival-style games, got makeup and fashion tips, watched mini-fashion shows, and had the chance to win dozens of prizes throughout the night.

In all about $6,000 was raised for the local hospice program.

While fun was had by all, organizers say there was a serious message behind the event.

“Businesses support hospice, the community supports hospice, now why isn’t our government supporting hospice?” asked Lynn Ujvary, who helped set up the event. “Hospice raises money for the services they do. If you ever need their service, that’s ridiculous.

“Why do we have to fundraise for a service that’s part of our medical system, because that is the last stage of our medical system, but it’s not included?”

Ujvary says that message wasn’t explicitly stated during the event — instead, the idea was to make hospice a little more prominent in people’s minds, make it easier for people to talk about it generally. Information about the program was included in the goody bags handed out to each guest that evening, in what Ujvary said was ‘Step One’ in the awareness campaign.

“It’s subtle,” she said. “It needs to be more in a comfort zone, for people to make a fuss, so it ends up so it ends up being funded by government.”

And having an event targeting women’s interests was the best way to do that, she said.

“The Dalai Lama said 30-40 years ago that it’s the awareness of middle-aged women that will make change in the world,” she said. “So if we can get women empowered to make change, there will be change.

“If we get a whole bunch of men together, they’re going to go play poker. They’re not going to talk about it.”


The event was held to raise awareness and funds for Hospice Castlegar, organizers said.

Joanne Baker knocks ‘em down at a bowling table straight out of a carnival.

Wendy Rowsell gives her hands a treat courtesy of Erin Kyllonen.

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