Hospice event brings record donations

The record results of this year’s fundraiser truly just amaze me. There are so many people, businesses, volunteers, and donors both locally and out of the area, to thank for its success.


It was a record-breaking night for volunteers and fundraising coordinators at Sanford Luverne Hospice Saturday, April 11.

The Blue Mound Banquet Center in Luverne accommodated a packed house of 400 people for the Annual Hospice Charity Dinner and Auction fundraiser, which featured a New Orleans and Mardi Gras theme.

According to Sanford Luverne Hospice volunteer coordinator Helen Saum, a gross total of $90,000 was raised, with an estimated net total of over $72,000, a new record for the event. 

“The record results of this year’s fundraiser truly just amaze me,” she said.

“There are so many people, businesses, volunteers, and donors both locally and out of the area, to thank for its success.”

She said 100 percent of the proceeds will stay local to support the hospice program, which serves patients and families in a 30-mile radius of Luverne.

“Knowing that 100 percent of the proceeds stay local and directly support hospice care for loved ones and their families in our area is something I am extremely grateful for,” Saum said.

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Hospice Awards recognizing three individuals for their contributions to the hospice program.  

2015 Award recipients were Hospice Staff member Paige Hoffman, Hospice Volunteer Harriet Kooiman and Friend of Hospice Connie Connell.

Hoffman, Wilmont, works as a trained medication aide at The Cottage. She was nominated by the hospice staff for her compassion working with patients and families. 

“She has a smile for everyone.  She has a positive attitude, gives excellent patient care, and is dedicated to her job,” one nominee wrote. 

“Paige brings a calm caring atmosphere to the cottage and to families, even in the midst of the challenging situations, and is reassuring to her patients and their families.”

Kooiman, Leota, has been a hospice volunteer since 2000 and has completed additional training as an “11th Hour Volunteer.”  She has volunteered over 400 hours for hospice. “Harriet is a very, caring and compassionate volunteer,” wrote one nominee. 

“She has visited, sat with, read to and prayed with a number of hospice patients living at home — as well as she volunteers many hours helping staff and patients at The Cottage in Luverne.”

Connell, Luverne, was recognized for her significant contributions to the hospice program.  She served on the Hospice Community Advisory Board for six years, during which time she was instrumental in making numerous contacts with new donors for the hospice fundraiser.  

After completing her term on the hospice board, she continued to stay involved as an advocate for hospice care in the community and as a strong supporter who gives of her time with the annual fundraiser.

Award recipients received a unique artwork this year created by Scott Viessman, son of Bev and Mel Viessman, from Luverne.

Scott is the owner of A-1 Jet, a water jet cutting and product design company in Sioux Falls.

He designed the pieces for hospice made from stainless steel sticks which support an elevated glass orb, and he commissioned Luverne native and glass artist Tom Maras to make the blown glass orbs for each of the pieces.  

“The concept behind the artwork is a group of support mechanisms working together, elevating the spirit of one entity,” Viessman said.

Other event activities included the “Trip Give-away” to New Orleans, Louisiana, won by Jen Rolfs and the Quilt Raffle, won by Nancy Holmblad from Fairbault. 

Next year’s event will be held in mid-April.  

Questions about hospice care or services available may be directed to the Sanford Luverne Hospice office at 283-1805.

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