Trinity’s Hospice Ball is Saturday

Twenty-two years ago when the idea of having a hospice ball to raise awareness for our local hospice program was suggested, most people only understood that the word “hospice” had something to do with “death.” Today, as we look forward to the 22nd annual Hospice Ball, the word “hospice” has taken on a whole new meaning. Most people in the Fort Dodge and surrounding communities have either had a loved one enrolled in a hospice program or have had a friend, neighbor or colleague who has experienced a death while enrolled in a hospice program.

Hospice is considered the model for quality, compassionate care for people facing a life-limiting illness. Hospice provides expert medical care, pain and symptom management, as well as emotional and spiritual support tailored to meet the patient’s needs and wishes. Support of the family is equally important in hospice care.

Hospice focuses on caring, not curing. Hospice can be provided in a patient’s home, a free standing hospice facility, assisted living and long term care facilities. Hospice services are available to patients with a life-limiting illness of any age.

As co-chairs for the 22nd annual ball, hospice holds a very dear place in our hearts. We have supported the Hospice Ball for many years and are very pleased to be directly involved with the ball this year. In our chosen professions as physicians and nurses, our patients often become like family. It is a privilege to care not only for the patient but for the entire family. Death is the natural progression, but how you face it gives meaning to patients and families. Being able to see a family through the toughest time of their lives brings you back to the reason you got into medicine – it reminds you that you are truly making a difference.

This year, Trinity Hospice will celebrate the 22nd annual Hospice Ball. It will be a night of dancing, food and fun for those who attend. The Ball will be held Saturday at the Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites in Fort Dodge and begins with a social hour at 6 p.m. A buffet dinner will follow with a short program and dancing. A highlight of the evening will be the announcement of the Debbie Hofbauer Compassionate Care Giver Award. This award is presented annually to a hospice employee who exemplifies values of respect, excellence, attitude, teamwork and trust. There will also be a silent auction throughout the evening as well as a raffle.

The Hospice Ball, hosted annually by Trinity Hospice, is a celebration of the compassionate program and the long history of caring that Trinity Hospice has in Fort Dodge and the surrounding area. The Hospice Ball celebrates loved ones we have lost and raises funds to benefit Trinity Hospice patients and families at home, in a care facility or at the Paula J. Baber Hospice Home.

The proceeds raised stay in our community to provide staff education, family education materials, bereavement programs and Hospice volunteer training. The funds raised are also used to obtain patient supplies or equipment. Staff work hard to see that special occasions in our hospice patient’s lives are recognized and celebrated so funds go toward making baptisms, weddings and birthdays a cherished memory. Other items such as communication devices, library resources, music, Angel Hands molding kits, supplies to assist with dementia patients, travel and end of life care for individuals without a pay source are made possible by the generosity of our community.

Trinity Hospice is very fortunate to have the support of so many committed and talented individuals who work as nurses, social workers, hospice aids, chaplains, volunteers, therapists, including massage, music, physical and occupational, and clerical and administrative support personnel. They are all compassionate individuals who are genuine in their passion for hospice.

We invite you to experience the 22nd Hospice Ball on Saturday. Everyone who comes to the ball has a different connection, but they all share the same passion – to support Trinity Hospice. We are grateful for your support and belief that what we do is important and thank you for the privilege of caring for your loved ones.

Dr. Mark Marner and RaeAnne Frey Marner and Dr. James and Ann Meyer are the co-chairs for the 22nd annual Trinity Hospice Ball. Dr. Mark Marner is a hospitalist at Trinity Regional Medical Center. Dr. Jim Meyer is a pulmonologist at UnityPoint Clinic and is medical director for UnityPoint Hospice.