By Jennie Zeitler
With the coming of spring, it is time for the annual CentraCare Health System-Sauk Centre Hospice Spring Fling Supper and Auction.
This year’s event will be Friday, April 5, at the Sauk Centre American Legion. The supper and silent auction begin at 5:30 p.m. and the live auction at 7 p.m. There will be a quilt raffle drawing at 8 p.m.
“All proceeds are put into our local hospice funds,” said Volunteer Coordinator Peggy Pooler. “The funds are used to benefit our clients and their families by providing medical equipment, medications and educational material.”
The first hospice auction fundraiser was held in 2001 after Pooler came on board. “My heartfelt thanks go to John Young of Grey Eagle, who started me on the path to fundraisers,” she said. “I had never done any fundraising before, and he helped get the live auction started.”
That initial fundraising event consisted of a silent auction, live auction and a DJ. Since that time, many new donors have been added. Nearly all of the meal is donated by local businesses and hospice members.
Since the annual event is always held the first Friday after Easter, the date varies from year to year.
“We have been abundantly blessed each year by the goodwill and generosity of local businesses and families in our area as well as the many other organizations who have donated,” Pooler said.
Donations range from handcrafted items for the home to sports event tickets and gift certificates. Gift baskets are available in every shape and size.
“This year, we have live auction donations of Chanhassen tickets, green fee passes to Meadowlark Country Club in Melrose, a boat anchor from Digger Anchor in Sauk Centre, Minnesota Gopher football tickets and a signed #28 P.J. Wanderscheid T-shirt,” said Pooler.
Other donations include an etched glass food bowl with pedestal, an art wall panel by Nancy Kazlauckas and a one-night stay package at Jackpot Junction in Morton.
Since about 2006, hospice volunteer Marian Moening of Sauk Centre has donated a queen-size bed quilt with matching pillow shams to the fundraiser.
“I’m doing this in memory of my dad, who didn’t have hospice,” Moening said. “I love to quilt; I like to work with material like my mom did.”
Through 2010, Moening hand-quilted the quilts, but the past two years they have been machine quilted by daughter-in-law Sherri Moening.
One person who has experienced firsthand the comfort that hospice workers provide is Rose Betow, whose husband and son were both served by hospice.
“The biggest help was when Peggy came and gave my husband a bed bath, which would have been difficult for me,” Betow said. “It was a comfort just knowing there was help if we needed it.”
Hospice home health aide Rachel Klaphake is gratified to be able to provide things for families being served by hospice that they would not otherwise have access to.
“Hospice is a wonderful thing for families who are losing a family member,” she said. “We invite people to come for a fun evening and meet hospice staff and volunteers.”
This year’s event auctioneers will be Bernard Green and Kevin Winter, who have donated their time and talents every year.
Advance meal tickets are $6 and are available through Thursday, April 4, at CentraCare Health System-Sauk Centre Hospital.
Tickets may be purchased at the door for $7. Raffle tickets are sold at the hospital’s front desk as well as at the event.
For more information, call (320) 351-1798.