Blue Ridge Hospice celebrated its 30th year anniversary with a festive outdoor Garden Party on June 2 at the Glen Burnie gardens and Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester. Attended by more than 325 supporters, the event raised $125,000 to directly benefit the organization’s Patient Care Fund.
“We were very pleased with the community’s generous reaction to our milestone event, which drew in the overwhelming support and volunteer efforts of so many individuals and local businesses,” said Blue Ridge Hospice President and CEO Ernie Carnevale. Wells Fargo served as the event’s presenting sponsor. An all-volunteer committee of Winchester area and Loudoun County residents worked on planning the event for a year.
Carnevale noted that proceeds would be used to help defray expenses for those in the area without the funds or insurance to pay for hospice services. Last year Blue Ridge Hospice gave back $349,701 in charity care to residents in the eight counties and the City of Winchester served by the organization.
Winchester resident Helen Zebarth, who remains active on the organization’s Board of Directors, and the late Gail Rodgers, founded Blue Ridge Hospice to bring an alternative way to deal with the natural process of death to their own community. At that time hospice was little known in the United States. Today, hospice care is a widely recognized and accepted form of medical care. And, from caring for only a few patients 30 years ago, Blue Ridge Hospice now works with more than 200 patients each day.
“Blue Ridge Hospice has deep roots in our area,” said Carnevale. “We are most fortunate to be a treasured community resource and we owe our growth and success to those in the communities we serve.”