From left to right, Lions Dorothy Maynard, Larry Arsenault, Marty Hawkins, Jim Scala, Cheryl Couper Scala, Margot Hallman representing Perth Hospital, Lions Wayne Bent, Michael Harris, Barb Fritz, George Jones and Jim McGlade present a cheque for $25,000 to Palliative Care Unit at the Perth Hospital.
Westport Lions Roar
By Lions Bob Reddick
November is the month of giving for the Westport Lions Club. Thirteen different organizations received a total of $15,940 in the fall disbursements. With the $5,900 we donated in the spring, that makes a total of $21,860 given out in 2021.
The club was able to do this because of the hard work of the membership, the generous support of the community, and the sponsorship provided by Circle K, Aarde Construction, Northland Power, G. Tackaberry & Sons Construction and Land Ark Homes. Many other people and businesses contributed their money, time, and equipment to the club. There are too many to mention individually, but the club appreciates their support and generosity.
The club wanted to do something special to celebrate our 75th anniversary. Each year, Westport Lions put aside some money for a big project. With the help of other Lion clubs, our last major initiative was to purchase a pair of $20,000 E-glasses for a local resident in 2017.
Lion Jim Scala proposed the idea of refurbishing a room for palliative care at the Perth hospital. Lion Jim, like several members, have had a loved one cared for in a palliative care unit. Lion Scala inquired about the possibility of the Westport Lions sponsoring an additional palliative care room.
Then COVID-19 hit, and all new projects at the hospital were put on the back burner.
Lion Wayne Bent picked up the initiative and called Margot Hallman to determine the cost of furnishing a new palliative room. Wayne asked Margot, “How much would a new room cost?” “Twenty-five thousand dollars,” said Margot. “Then the Westport Lions Club will contribute $25,000 towards a new palliative care room,” said Wayne. Margot was so surprised by Wayne’s quick response that she said, “Are you kidding?” “No,” said Wayne.
The hospital is not ready to start construction of the new room because of COVID. Until the crisis has passed, the money will be held in trust.
In addition to the $25,000, the Westport Lions gave $1,000 on two different occasions to help with the COVID crisis.
The membership is happy to have their fund raising money go towards such a worthy project. A palliative care room provides the patient and family with an opportunity to share their last times together in a quiet, calming, and relaxing atmosphere. The staff are trained to consult with the family in health care decisions and the passing of a loved one.
On a personal note, the writer was thankful that the nurses and doctors of the palliative unit in Brockville took the time to ask me about my dad and explained the options that I had for my dad in a caring and unhurried way. It helped.