Kamloops Hospice Association auctioning off two butterfly planters

Butterfly planters for hospice

If you're looking to beautify your outdoor patio or your front walkway, the Kamloops Hospice Association is auctioning off two butterfly planters.

The flower arrangements were going to be auctioned off during the non-profit's annual gala last month. However, like festivals, weddings and other large gatherings, the roughly 500-person event had to be cancelled because of COVID-19. 

"We decided we can still do (the auction)," says Wendy Marlow, executive director of the hospice association. 

The organization runs the Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Memorial Hospice Home, a 12-bed facility in Upper Sahali. It also hosts a number of community programs and workshops, including a men's morning coffee club that meets a handful of times a year.

The pandemic has hurt the local charity, she adds. Each year, the organization gets around 50 per cent of its funding from Interior Health. 

"We have to raise $1.2 million every year to keep our doors open," says Marlow. "And so, like many, many charities, it's hit us hard."

The gala and the association's thrift store in the Brock Shopping Centre (which had to close) would have brought in between 35 and 40 per cent of the revenue hospice has to raise, she says. Staff were hoping to bring in $175,000 at the gala.

Marlow says the pandemic is forcing the association to relook at how it fundraises. 

"Virtual auction, that's new for us. We haven't done that. Regardless of what happens with this phase two or three with COVID, I think that needs to be built into our future going forward."

The flower arrangements in the butterfly planters were put together by members of the men's morning coffee club. 

Dave Hilton lost his wife Dorothy almost two years ago, and tells Castanet volunteering his time and getting his hands a little dirty was just a small way of giving back.

"I could see the care that they were giving to end-of-life people, but I soon realized the care they (hospice staff) gave to people who are struggling, and I was one of those people," he says. 

Hilton adds the group has really helped him during his grieving process. 

"(We) just talk about our loss, share our feelings and it's all facilitated by a grievance counsellor. It's incredible what they've done (for me)."

To bid on the butterfly planters, click here. The auction ends June 15 at 7 p.m.

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