Annual Huron Shores ‘Handbags for Hospice’ FUNdraiser a resounding success

Huron Shores annual ‘Handbags for Hospice’ event held on Friday, September 22nd, at the Kincardine Pavilion, was a resounding success.
With a goal of $175,000, the evening’s event raised approximately $230,000 (before expenses and to be determined).

Former Bruce Power President CEO, Duncan Hawthorne and wife, Lesley, traveled from Scotland to host the event.   “It lifts the spirit just to be here,” said Duncan Hawthorne.  “Things are tough everywhere today.  Without real people behind these events they would never happen.  These volunteers don’t want the recognition, they simply know it’s the right thing to do.”

Organizer and Chair of the Hospice Foundation, Carol Rencheck, said that it’s the incredible support of the community and over 200 sponsors that will sustain the Hospice well into the future.

         Carol and Mike Rencheck

“We have provided compassionate end-of-life care to 128 families. This is the essence of our gathering tonight and it stands as a beacon of the compassion of people in Bruce County.  Hospice care is freely provided, all offered without charge.  We do however, need to raise $300,000 annually.  We thank our major sponsors, the Hawthornes, Bruce Power and many others who play a significant role when it comes to enabling dignity at the end of life.”


The evening was emceed and enhanced by Phillip Craig of the Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII), who kept the “energy soaring” throughout with his personal anecdotes.

Special guest speaker, Bob Simmons, who added a testimonial, told of his family connection with Huron Shores Hospice and the care that his wife, Jacqueline, received at the end of her life. “We were married 55 years and, when an earlier diagnosis of cancer in 1998 came back in 2018, she was given two years to live, but through determination stretched it out to four.”

According to Simmons, the Hospice was like a home where the couple had a furnished private room, complete with meals, snacks, WiFi and the use of a phone courtesy of Bruce Telecom.

“The meals were home-cooked and brought right to the room. Our son and daughter arrived and, they too, had their choice of meals.  The volunteers, the staff, and the PSW at night, were all so caring and compassionate. I didn’t need to do anything except stay with my wife and love her.”

Simmons compared the Hospice care to a hospital setting when his son-in-law needed care before passing away, and also the home care option.  “With the hospital, there were so many restrictions – visiting hours were only allowed at certain times, the number of visitors were restricted and there was little personal care. With the home option for someone bed-ridden, medical staff and care workers would have to be coming and going all the time and there would be all the things still involved in running the home that would have to be done, such as grocery shopping.  At Hospice, all that went away, it was all about Jacqueline.”
While he said there are many charities that people can donate to for a tax receipt, Simmons also encouraged everyone to consider helping out others through Hospice care.  “We are so lucky to have this facility. They were so very helpful for me and my family in a difficult time.”
                    (L) Auctionista Layne                                     For larger view, Click on Image

Following the speeches, the fun part of the FUNdraising began. When Layne the Auctionista stepped on to the stage, everyone knew it was going to be another FUNdraising evening.

With unbounding high energy, Layne moved through the audience creating an “I want that …” attitude, raising the stakes and non-stop bids, all for Hospice.  “This is one of the most incredible events I host and I cannot believe the generosity of this community.”

For larger view, Click on Image
The Board of Huron Shores Hospice said that, “To all our amazing guests, your presence and generosity were simply fabulous. You all helped us raise over $200,000 after expenses were paid. We appreciate your partnership in creating a world where end-of-life receives the same beauty, care and respect as the beginning.”