This floating lantern was one of many launched in memory of a loved one at a Castlegar Hospice Event in 2018. Photo: Betsy Kline

Support Castlegar Hospice through online auction

Castlegar Hospice has had to get creative with its fundraising due to COVID-19

The Castlegar Hospice Society has kicked off an online auction fundraiser.

With COVID-19 hampering the society’s ability to run its usual fundraising events, hospice director Suzanne Lehbauer decided it was time to try someting new.

“I hope we are going to make it really easy for people to spend money,” said Lehbauer.

Most of the auction items are actually groups of items.

One of the most unique items is a decorative Christmas sleigh filled with hot chocolate, mugs, a table runner, an apron and the promise of 12 dozen assorted Christmas goodies to be delivered in November.

The Taste of Castlegar basket has $300 worth of gift certificates and merchandise from local restaurants.

There is also coffee, wine, beauty, self care, golf and DIY baskets.

The auction items can be viewed in person at West’s Department Store or at

Bids can be placed before 5 p.m. on Oct. 16 directly through the website. Some items include a buy-it-now price.

Like many other organizations, the local hospice has had to adapt in order to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has been taking some time to get used to our new way of doing things,” said Lehbauer.

“But we are feeling better about the contact we can make with our clients and our client’s families and the public.”

RELATED: Castlegar hospice director says COVID-19 measures make serving the dying heartbreaking

She says they are looking at ways to expand their current array of services.

In-person grief support groups will be starting in October.

“There has been a huge, huge amount of people calling about them,” said Lehbauer.

She encourages people to keep calling and asking for services, so they can know how best to help the community.

The society has a new program it is offering to employers to help them better work with employees dealing with grief.

Lehbauer will work individually with the employer, or set up a workshop for several staff or businesses to give them tools to help others cope.

“Grief isn’t just about death,” said Lehbauer. “It encompasses so many other things.”

She says they are dealing with a lot of COVID-19 grief at the moment.

“It is grieving the loss of a particular lifestyle that we had, the way we were able to do things — that loss of things in our lives.”

She says that includes isolation, the loss of being together with friends, even just going out for coffee.

To access hospice or grief support services, call 250-304-1266.

You can also donate to hospice without bidding on auction items through

RELATED: Castlegar Hospice director recieves Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem award and grant

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